Kelsey Moede posted a final-round 78, her seventh score in the 70s in her last nine rounds. (photo by Greg Smith)
LAKE CITY, Minn––Kelsey Moede (So./Lake Oswego, Ore.) fired a final-round, six-over par 78, matching the Carleton 36-hole school record, leading the No. 18 Knights to a runner-up finish at the D3 Classic.
The Knights recorded one of their best finishes in program history, falling one stroke shy of sharing the tournament title with the University of St. Thomas. Carleton posted the low team round of the day at 326 to finish at 656, but was unable to erase a two-shot deficit against the Tommies, who finished at 655. It was the Knights’ best finish since they won the Concordia University Golden Bear Invite eight years ago, nearly to the day.
Moede’s finish was her second straight top-five finish, following her T4th at last week’s Wartburg Invite. Four of her six rounds this fall have been in the 70s, and seven of her last nine dating back to last spring.
“Kelsey has been our rock this fall,” Carleton head coach Eric Sieger said. “She didn’t quite find that zone today like she did yesterday, but the fact she was still able to post such a good score shows how tough a competitor she is.”
“Certainly, it’s tough to come that close to winning the golf tournament, but it was another really positive weekend for us,” Sieger said. “It was so exciting to going shot for shot with St. Thomas coming down the stretch. We just needed one more birdie on that final hole, but we just couldn’t get one more putt to drop.”
Gina Kabasakalis (So./Alameda, Calif./College Prep) notched her third straight top-10 finish in three starts this season, finishing tied for ninth at 164 after a final round 85. Taylor Wells (So./Rochester, Minn./Century) rebounded from a tough first round to gut out a nine-over par 81, ending inside the top 20 at 167.
Carleton’s rookies both posted the best scores of their young careers in Sunday’s final round, as Grace Gilmore (Edina, Minn.) posted a solid 10-over par 82, while Mara Daly (St. Louis Park, Minn.) added an 89.
“It was great to see Grace and Mara play like we know they can,” Sieger said. “I knew they were capable of this type of golf, but I think they really needed to see some positive results out there, and this should help both of them moving forward.”
The tournament hosts did pass UC-Santa Cruz in Sunday’s action, as the Banana Slugs ended at 666 to finish third. No. 11 St. Olaf, powered by medalist Molly Erickson’s two-over par 146, finished fourth at 669. No. 21 Wartburg finished fifth at 670.
Erickson set a tournament single-round record with her first round, one-under par 71. Her 36-hole total matched former Gustavus standout Kelli Groff’s tournament record from 2005, although that was set at Victory Links Golf Club, giving Erickson the low 36-hole total at the considerably tougher Jewel Golf Club.
Carleton plays its lone, true home event next weekend, co-hosting the College City Challenge with St. Olaf at Northfield Golf Club on Sept. 22-23.