By Samantha Meyer
The Cleveland State University women’s golf team competed in the Cardinal Classic hosted by Ball State University on Sept. 16 and 17. Coming out to compete for the third year in a row, the Vikings were hoping to improve on their eighth place finish last year.
The Vikings headed into the Cardinal Classic off of a second-place finish at the Schwartz Invitational. Two Cleveland State athletes finished in the top ten, with junior Madison Butler placing fifth at six over par, and junior Ashley Knight tying for seventh at eight over par. Three other Vikings finished in the top 15, including sophomore Grace Zimmerman, freshmen Averi Hanna and Lexi Knight tied for 14th place at +16.
During the first day of the Cardinal Classic, the Vikings faced some tough competition. Knight was tied for 16th place after shooting 74-80, Zimmerman posted rounds of 80-79 to secure 38th place for the day. Butler shot rounds of 83-79 to tie for 45th place. At the conclusion of the first day, the Vikings found themselves seated in 10th place, only three points behind Bowling Green State University.
On the second day of tournament play, the team knew they had to up their game in order to place higher than the previous year. Knight took the number one spot for the Vikings, shooting 74 on the final day, and finished tied for 12th place. Zimmerman upped her game with a career-best round of 73, leading the team on the final day of the Cardinal Classic. With a total of 232 shots, she tied for 24th place overall.
With Zimmerman taking the reins and leading the team, the Vikings were able to cut 15 strokes off of their final score. The team had their best showing of the season with a round of 303, which added to two straight rounds of 318, equaling an overall team score of 939. The Vikings moved up two spots to place 9th overall, finishing just one point behind Bowling Green.
The rest of the team worked hard to contribute to the team score. Butler finished tied for 36th place overall with a score of 237, and sophomore Meg Rossouw finished tied for 56th with a score of 249. Hanna tied for 59th place with a score of 251.
Ball State took their home course advantage, winning with a score of 899 to edge Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis by two strokes.
While the Vikings did not place higher than last year, they go into next week’s tournament with hopes of improving. On Sept. 23 and 24, the team will participate in the Phoenix Invitational hosted by Elon University.