Taylor Wells broke her own school record, firing a one-over par 73 to help the Knights to the first-round lead at the Wartburg Invite.
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WAVERLY, Iowa—Not one, but two record-setting performances has the 18th-ranked Carleton College women’s golf team in the lead at the Wartburg Invitational after one round.
Taylor Wells (So./Rochester, Minn./Century) broke her own school single-round record, firing a one-over par 73 to grab the individual lead, buoyed by a one-under par 35 on the front nine. Kelsey Moede (So./Lake Oswego, Ore.) matched the old mark, posting a career-best two-over par 74 and sits solo second. Gina Kabasakalis (So./Alameda, Calif./College Prep), who previously held the school record with Wells, added a third score in the 70s as her back nine even par led to a 78. It marked the first time in school history the Knights had three scores in the 70s.
The sophomores’ performances allowed the Knights to post a 322 score, one ahead of No. 8 Gustavus Adolphus and unranked St. Thomas. No. 6 UW-Eau Claire is fourth at 326, followed by No. 11 St. Olaf at 329.
“It was obviously a very special day,” Carleton head coach Eric Sieger said. “Taylor got off to a good start and rode some solid putting coming in, and Kelsey was just rock solid all day long and putted much better than last week. Gina was really great on that back nine, sitting at two-under par at one point and played a really solid round of golf.”
The Knights’ team score is the third lowest in school history, behind the 318 and 319 the Knights posted on the same Centennial Oaks Golf Club track a year ago. In fact, the four lowest scores in school history have all happened on this week’s course.
The one area the Knights struggled a bit was finding a good fourth score, as rookies Grace Gilmore (Edina, Minn.) and Mara Daly (St. Louis Park, Minn.) struggled mightily.
“We know Grace and Mara are capable of playing good, solid golf, and they just need to believe in themselves a bit and not try to do too much,” Sieger said. “It will come with experience.”
The Knights are off at 10:33 a.m. for Sunday’s final round in an all-MIAC pairing with the Gusties and the Tommies.
“It will be good for us to be in this position heading into the final round,” Sieger said. “We were in contention a year ago and we played well, and hopefully we can call upon that experience. At the same time it will be important for us to focus on ourselves, execute our game plan and not worry what’s happening around us.”