Augustana women’s golf set up an early position to bring home another conference championship this spring.
The team finished tied for first place at 80-over-par 656 after the first two rounds of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Championships.
The team shot a 330 in the second round on Sunday, following Saturday’s 326.
The University of Concordia-St. Paul shot a tournament-low round of 324 on Sunday to tie the Vikings for first place.
The NSIC Championships consists of 72 holes, in which the first 36 holes were played at the Classic Course at Madden’s Resort in Brainerd, Minn. last Saturday and Sunday.
“I was really looking forward to the opportunity of playing the Classic again,” senior Allie Ostrander said. “It’s such a challenging and beautiful course.”
Ostrander tied for a fourth-place finish at 18-over-par 162, shooting 79 on Saturday and 83 on Sunday.
“I had a confident and positive attitude heading into the tournament because I knew that if I played to my potential I could post a low number,” Ostrander said.
Senior Maggie Leland said she felt confident going into the tournament as well.
“I finally got to hitting my irons and driver well, and my short game has been good, so it all kind of came together at the perfect time,” Leland said.
Leland shot an 81 on Saturday and moved up the leaderboard after a 77 Sunday to secure the first-place position at 14-over-par 158.
Leland won the individual title in 2011-12 and looks to have a repeat performance. She will carry a two-stroke lead into rounds 3-4 in the spring.
“We were playing a very difficult course, but one that sets up very well for my game,” Leland said. “I knew that I could play well, and I did, so it was a fun weekend.”
Leland earned her ninth NSIC Women’s Golfer of the Week honors after Sunday’s round.
Sophomore Marisa Toivonen tied for ninth with 162 (87-80) after jumping eight spots in the second round of the fall tournament.
Taking the 15th spot, sophomore Jennifer Pederson shot 196 at the Classic (79-90), and freshman Jordan Bormann tied for 41st overall at 193 (100-93) to help the team finish strong.
“Of course everyone wants to play well individually, but playing well benefits the team as well,” Ostrander said.
The Vikings look to defend their four straight conference titles this spring, and bringing home another conference championship would mean an Augustana record.
If having to choose between an individual title or a team title, Ostrander said she’d pick the team title because of the notion of a school record.
“I would really love to be a part of that,” she said.
Augustana and University of Concordia-St. Paul will carry the tie into the final 36 holes in the spring portion of the NSIC Championships, played at Dacotah Ridge Golf Course in Morton, Minn. April 26-27.
Women’s golf next heads to the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) Fall Preview Oct. 21-22 in St. Charles, Mo.
Leland said the MIAA conference is a chance to compete against other teams in the region, including conference teams, in order to be ranked for regional rankings in the spring.
“It’ll be a really competitive tournament,” Leland said, “so we hope to have a good tournament and get ranked ahead of those teams.”