Summer Success

Aug. 2, 2011

Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.

IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa women’s golfers don’t get a break in the offseason. During the summer, Hawkeye linksters focus on improving their game through competition in various tournaments around the country.

Junior Kristi Cardwell, a team co-captain, has been racking up top-five finishes left and right while working on her game. Cardwell is focusing on putting up lower numbers during her summer competition.

“I have been working on scoring better,” said Cardwell, who has a 78.2 career scoring average. “I know I can hit it, and I know I can putt — it is just a matter of scoring.”

In her last tournament, Cardwell did just that. In the opening round of the IWGA State Amateur Championship, she fired an eight-under par 65 to set a course record at The Fort Golf Course in Indianapolis — a par 73 course. She finished the 54-hole event in third place, carding a 215 (65-75-75).

“I was so relaxed (during that round),” said Cardwell. “I didn’t know I was going to shoot eight under until it came down to the last few holes. I went four under over my final three holes, so that helped out a lot. I was relaxed and playing my own game, playing how I know I can play.”

Earlier in the summer, Cardwell tallied a pair of top-five finishes. The Kokomo, Ind., native finished fourth at the IWGA Match Play Championship in stroke play (74) before advancing to the match play quarterfinals. She also tied for fifth at the Indiana PGA Women’s Open with a 150 (77-73).

Cardwell rounds out her summer of tournaments by teaming with senior Chelsea Harris at the second annual Hooters Women’s Collegiate Team Championship. The tournament runs today through Thursday in Dahlonega, Ga.

Cardwell isn’t the only Hawkeye faring well. Sophomore Woojay (Jessie) Choi won the Manitoba Women’s Amateur Championship with a seven-over par 226 over 54 holes. Choi entered the final round in a three-way tie for the lead. She birdied her first hole, and never relinquished the top spot on the leaderboard, claiming her first provincial title by three shots.

“I wanted the summer to be a good season, so I’d have some confidence to go back (to school),” Choi said following the tournament. “This tournament means a lot to me. It’s such a good confidence boost.”

As a result of her victory, Choi advanced to the Royale Cup Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship in Duncan Meadows, B.C. She finished the four round event in a tie for 63rd place with a 328 (80-82-80-86).

A pair of incoming freshmen have also performed well leading up their first season of collegiate golf. Freshman Shelby Phillips placed 17th at the AJGA Ping Phoenix Junior in Phoenix, Ariz., with a 54-hole total of 228 (82-73-73). Phillips also tied for 21st at the US Women’s Open Qualifier with a 152 (77-75).

Fellow newcomer Nicole Rae tallied a runner-up finish at a tournament at Naperbrook Golf Course with a 79. She also tied for seventh place at the IJGA-CDGA Junior Amateur with a 36-hole total of 156 (80-76).

The Hawkeye linksters are gaining confidence with their play and look forward to building on their laurels during the team’s upcoming fall season.

“It will give me confidence, but I already know I can do it,” said Cardwell. “This is the best that I have played, which makes me pretty excited. Hopefully I can close out the summer strong and keep that going into the fall season.”