LINCOLN, Neb. -- The 16th-ranked Lewis-Clark State College women’s golf team qualified for the final round of the NAIA National Championships on Thursday at Wilderness Ridge Golf Club.
Needing to finish among the top 17 teams to prolong their season for one more day, the Warriors jumped two spots from Wednesday to Thursday, shooting a combined 317 on Friday to place 16th overall, making the cut by three strokes.
“The girls came together really well,” Lewis-Clark State assistant coach Cliff Carrick said. “I think the first two days we were just tired. We weren’t getting our legs through our shots and we just looked jet-lagged. They were against the wall today, and they came through.”
Each of the five Warrior golfers shot equal to or better than their two prior rounds at the tournament on Friday, with juniors Heather Bruce and Idah Whisenant leading the way with a pair of 78s.
Bruce now has a three-round total of 241 to tie for 51st in the individual standings. Whisenant is two strokes behind at 243, tied for 61st. Junior Brooke Dagner shot an 81 on Friday to bring her three-day total to 245, good enough for tie for 66th.
Freshman Karina Davila carded an 80 on Thursday to move into a tie for 79th place with a 248 through 54 holes. Senior Kelsey Haycock fired an 82, a seven-stroke improvement over her first two rounds, bringing her into a tie for 114th with an overall score of 260.
For the third day in a row, the Warriors had to play through cold and windy conditions that only seemed to improve when they left the course in the afternoon.
“The girls showed a lot of courage and intestinal fortitude,” Carrick said. “They had to sink or swim today, and by golly, they swam.”
With nothing to lose on the final day of the tournament, Carrick said he’ll instruct his players to go for broke on Friday.
“There’s not much to lose,” he said. “We want them to play aggressively, and go for the pin when they can.”
Live scoring is available here for Friday’s championship round.