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Women's Golf Seeks Third Straight WIAC Crown, NCAA Bid
Posted: Thursday, October 5, 2006
The UW-Eau Claire women's golf team will seek its third consecutive Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship when the 36-hole conference tournament takes place at Windwood Golf Course in Watertown Saturday and Sunday.
There is one difference this year from other years as the Blugolds seek their title bid. The conference champion will earn an automatic bid into the NCAA Division III national championships. The Blugolds have made six straight trips to the 10-team NCAA nationals, finishing as high as a tie for third in 2005.
In the 10-year history of the WIAC women's golf championships, the Blugolds have won four titles and finished second the other six times.
Last year, the Blugolds set a conference record with a 36-hole total of 628 led by senior Maggie Loney who captured medalist honors for the second year in a row. Loney is gone but the Blugolds are being led by All-Conference performers Jesse Thompson (Sr.-Stevens Point/SPASH) and Meghan Sobotta (Jr.-Arcadia). Sobotta is averaging 79.9 per round for eight rounds this fall while Thompson is just behind at 80.6 This is Thompson's fourth conference tournament and in the previous three, she went from a tie for 19th as a freshman to fifth as a sophomore and a tie for third as a junior. Sobotta has placed third in her two previous conference meets.
Kim Huber (Jr.-White Bear Lake, MN) placed 16th in last year's conference tourney and has the fifth best average on the team this fall at 86.8.
Two freshmen have been making an impact already this fall. They are Torie Ives (Osseo/Osseo-Fairchild) and Kate Borman (Kenosha/Bradford), both of whom are averaging 83 for their eight rounds. Ives has a win and a third place to her credit already in her brief Blugold career.
The Blugolds have not finished behind any WIAC school this fall, although last weekend UW-Stevens Point was within four strokes of the Blugolds and in an earlier meet, UW-Oshkosh came within eight strokes of the Blugolds. Eau Claire is ranked No. 4 in the first National Golf Coaches Association poll this fall while Stevens Point is No. 8, Oshkosh No. 9 and UW-Whitewater No. 21. All WIAC schools except UW-La Crosse are fielding varsity women's golf teams this fall.
In five meets this fall, the Blugolds won once, finished second twice, placed third once and placed fourth once. Of the five tournaments in which the Blugolds played, two were rain-shortened. In one, the Illinois Wesleyan Invitational, the Blugolds tied a school 18-hole record with a 305 on the second day of the tournament.
The winner of the WIAC tournament will advance to the NCAA nationals, May 8-11, 2007 at El Campeon Golf Course at the Mission Inn Resort & Club in Howey-in-the Hills, Florida.
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