EAU CLAIRE, Wis.––Powered by a sizzling three-over par 75 by senior Kelsey Moede (Lake Oswego, Ore.), the Carleton College women’s golf team posted a dominating final-round 310 to run away with the team title at the Georgianni Memorial Invitational.
The Knights, who trailed first-round leader Bethel University by three shots entering the final round, ended up with a school-record 628 total for the 36-hole event, winning by a whopping 23 shots. UW-Stout, which trailed Carleton by a single shot entering Sunday’s play, ended second at 651, while Wartburg College (Iowa) finished third at 652. The Royals were fourth at 653, three ahead of Gustavus Adolphus College.
Carleton’s final-round total matched its school-record for a single round in relation to par, set at last year’s UW-Eau Claire Blugold Spring Invite. It marked the Knights' third straight invitational win, dating back to last spring.
Geraldine Tellbuescher (So./Ashiya, Japan/Canadian Academy) backed up Moede’s round with a 77, followed by Shannon Holden’s (So./Simi Valley, Calif./Royal) 78. Taylor Wells (Sr./Rochester, Minn./Century) overcame a horrific start to post an 80 to round out Carleton’s scoring players.
“It was obviously a great day for us,” Carleton head coach Eric Sieger said. “Having been in situations like today where we needed a great round for the win all of last year, I thought our comfort level and confidence really was the difference today. I think the ladies expected to come through in the clutch, and just like last spring they came up with a great performance under pressure.”
Holden ended in a tie for second, only one shot back of Wartburg’s Rochelle Beardsley. Holden was one of only three players in the 88-player field to break 80 both days, ending at 10-over par 155. Wells ended tied for 7th at 158, while Tellbuescher and Moede just missed the top 10, finishing T11th at 160. Grace Gilmore (Jr./Edina, Minn.) finished inside the top 20 at 163.
The story of the final round came in many forms. Moede, who was two-under par through five holes on Saturday before fading a bit, found herself in a similar situation on Sunday. After back-to-back birdies on her third and fourth holes of the day put her at two-under, Moede stayed strong. She overcame a triple bogey at the par-4 tenth hole by rattling off four straight pars. She offset two bogeys with two pars, and then curled in a 15-foot birdie putt on her final hole, the par-3 second hole, to finish with her best round since she shot 74 twice her sophomore year. She needed only 27 putts over the 18 holes.
Wells, meanwhile, got off to a rough start, finding herself six-over par after her first four holes and turned in nine-over par 45. After a pair of pars righted the ship a bit, her putter heated up. She rolled in a 20-foot birdie putt on 12, likely the only birdie on the hole in the final round. Three pars, including a long par save on the 13th, were followed with another birdie on the 16th hole, and only a final-hole bogey kept her from breaking 80, as she played the final nine holes in one-under par.
Holden and Tellbuescher were solid all day. Tellbuescher hit 14 greens in regulation, and she capped the round with a nice sand save for par on the par-3 second hole. Holden, meanwhile, ripped off seven consecutive pars on the front nine, and after four straight bogeys to start the back nine, only a final-hole bogey kept her from matching her first-round score.
The Knights will look to keep things rolling at next weekend’s Wartburg Invitational at Centennial Oaks Golf Course. First and second round action is slated to begin at 8:30 a.m.