The Gustavus Women’s Golf Team earned a fourth-place finish last weekend at the DIII Classic in Hastings, MN after finishing 11th at the Wartburg Fall Invitational in Waverly, IA the week before.
The DIII Classic was highlighted by strong play from Sophomore Erin Ericson, who carded the lowest individual score at the tournament and earned her first career medalist honor.
On the first day of the Wartburg Fall Invite, the Gusties were led by a trio of sophomores. Sophomore Emily Kratz went lowest with a four-over 76 and was tied for 20th while Erin Ericson scored a five-over 77 and sat in 26th place. Sydney Regalado was tied for 24th with a 78.
First-years Laurel Ward, Hannah Hubbart, and Kristin Martens all carded an 84.
“Our ball striking off the tee, approach shots, and short shots around the green were good but our putting was not good enough to really score well. Shooting around 315 is exciting and there are a good number in front of us very close that we hope to pass tomorrow,” Assistant Coach Randy Stuckey said after day one.
As a team, the Gusties sat in tenth place after the first round.
On the second day of the tournament, increased wind brought challenges for the Gusties. Sophomore Sydney Regalado led the Gusties with a 73 that was good for a 12th place finish overall. Erin Ericson tied for 30th with a score of 79 on the second day. Martens and Ward both carded two day totals of 167 to round out the team score.
“Again today, they battled and learned a lot from different situations. It is a process to get better and they are all committed to working on the game that needs improvement. We always emphasize finishing and told them that they did just that,” Stuckey said.
The Gusties score of 315-318-633 was good for 11th place overall, while St. Catherine won the event with a 297-305-602.
This past weekend, the Gusties looked to build on their performance in Iowa at the Division III classic, hosted by Emerald Greens Golf Course.
On the first day of the tournament, Ericson posted a three-over 75 that featured three birdies. Ericson’s score put her in second place overall after the round one.
Regalado also had a number of birdies and scored a 78 that slotted her in a tie for ninth place overall, while Kratz was one stroke behind with a 79. Fellow Sophomore Ward rounded out the Gusties team score with an 85.
The Gusties’ total of 317 put them in third place as a team after the first round of the tournament.
“[Ericson] had a great round, had it to two under at one point and 75 was solid. [Regalado] and [Kratz] posted good scores as well. Looking for everyone to finally put it all together tomorrow. I think we left a few shots out there, but not too many today. Another event with a very strong field,” Head Coach Scott Moe said.
St. Catherine sat in first place once again with a score of 311, while Bethel sat one stroke ahead of the Gusties at 316.
Day two was highlighted by a strong performance from Ericson, who carded an even-par 72 to take first place overall in a tournament field of 90 golfers.
Kratz recorded her third career top-ten finish with a score of 75 that tied her for eighth. Regalado tied for 17th with a second round score of 80 while Ward finished with an 83 that slotted her into 48th place overall.
The second round team score of 310 is tied for the tenth-best team score in program history, and Ericson is the first Gustie to earn medalist honors since Morgan Bleyhl and McKenzie Swenson shared first place at the Georgianni Blugold Invite in 2017.
The Gusties finished in fourth place as a team.
“Overall, very pleased with our effort and the results. This was a great field, and will give you an idea of the level of competition as our conference prepares the host our championship in two weeks,” Coach Moe said.
For her efforts, Ericson was awarded the MIAC Women’s Golfer of the Week Honors.
“It was a very happy experience and my team was very supportive. The girls I was playing with were as well,” Ericson said.
The Gusties will be back in action next Saturday and Sunday at the St. Kate’s Invitational in Prior Lake, MN.