WAVERLY, Iowa—Grace Gilmore (So./Edina, Minn.) backed up her first-round 76 with a final-round 79 to finish sixth, and Shannon Holden (Fy./Simi Valley, Calif./Royal) matched Gilmore’s final round score and ended up in eighth place, but No. 25 Carleton College dropped back one place from round one to finish fifth at the Wartburg Invitational.
Gilmore, trailing by two shots entering the final round, saw playing partners Kenzie Rottinghaus of Grandview College (Iowa) fire a 73 to win medalist honors at three-over par 147, while UW-Eau Claire’s Kate Engler posted a two-over par 74 to finish one shot back in second. Gilmore’s 11-over par 155 was two back of third place and one behind the St. Thomas duo of Erin Dingmann and Doyle O’Brien, as she ended alone in sixth place. Gilmore’s total was a new 36-hole career-best by 11 shots and the fourth best two-round total in school history.
“Grace has been playing so well lately, and I was really impressed that she carried it into the tournament weekend,” Carleton head coach Eric Sieger said. “She worked hard on her game this summer and has been really receptive to some new ideas we’ve had for her, and she’s stepped up and given us a second veteran player in the line-up who can go low.”
Holden, meanwhile, recorded her third straight sub-80 round of the young season, finishing solo eighth at 13-over par 157.
“Shannon’s ball striking was magnificent this weekend, and if we can get a few putts to drop for her I think she can take it even lower,” Sieger said. He noted the Holden rolled in about a 10-foot birdie putt on 18 to break 80 after missing from short distance for birdie on the previous two holes.
The Knights, though, couldn’t find a low score on a day that saw the field post five scores of 76 or less. Trailing leader and 22-ranked St. Thomas by only three shots entering the final round, Carleton received a gutty 81 from Kelsey Moede (Jr./Lake Oswego, Ore.) but counted a 93 for its fourth score.
Moede had perhaps the most bizarre day of her decorated career. She had to drain a 30-footer for double bogey on the first hole, then birdied the next two holes. She followed that with another double, a par and then a triple before playing the final three holes on the front nine in even par. She was a bit steadier on the final nine holes, but did suffer one double bogey in that stretch. All told, she played five holes in 11-over par, but the other 13 holes in two-under.
“Kelsey battled hard and I was proud of her for turning it around,” Sieger said. “She knows she’s capable of playing much better, and we will get her on track by next weekend.”
The Tommies, meanwhile, fired a final-round 312 to edge NAIA Grandview by four shots at 634. Following the Vikings (638) was tourney host Wartburg, which posted a final-round 316 to end at 639. UW-Stout ended fourth at 649, followed by Carleton’s 657, seven ahead of No. 25 UW-Eau Claire.
Carleton is set to host the D3 Classic at The Jewel Golf Club next weekend in Lake City, Minn. The large majority of the MIAC schools will be there, along with UW-Stout, UW-Eau Claire and Wartburg, among other non-conference schools. Tee times start at 11 a.m. on Saturday.