July 26, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa women’s golf assistant coach Laura Cilek finished runner-up at the 87th Iowa Women’s Amateur Championship Wednesday at Des Moines Golf and Country Club. Cilek finished with a three-round total of 230 (+11). Her final round score of 75 (+2) was tied for the second-lowest 18-hole score of the three-day tournament.
Cilek entered the final round in fourth place, trailing 36-hole leader Kimmy Askelson, who will be a sophomore at Drake, by four strokes. Cilek also trailed Drake women’s golf head coach Leanne Smith by two strokes for second place and Iowa State sophomore Beth Wagner by one stroke for third place. The four golfers made up the final group on Wednesday, battling wind gusts of 25 miles per hour on the North Course at Des Moines Golf and Country Club.
Cilek began her climb up the leaderboard on the par-3 third hole with a birdie, after her tee shot landed within five feet of the cup. The former UI women’s golfer trailed Askelson by only two strokes after the birdie, but the Drake golfer responded with back-to-back birdies on the fourth and fifth holes to regain a four-stroke advantage.
Cilek continued her steady play throughout the day and finished the back nine with seven-straight pars in windy conditions to wrap up a second place finish.
“I feel like I played pretty well,” Cilek said. “It was fun to be out and competitive on the golf course again. It was great to be in the hunt and I just enjoy being out on the course.
“I tried to put some pressure on Kimmy (Askelson) but she held pretty steady,” Cilek said. “I had a few times where I was a little rusty in the competitive setting. I think this really helps me relate to our players, because you feel the pressure and now you are in that situation.”
With a summer filled with recruiting trips and summer camps, Cilek was happy to have the opportunity to get back into competitive golf. She also believes it will help her during the season with the current UI golfers.
“I think this shows that even though you are a coach, you can still see the competitive side and go out and play,” Cilek said. “I love the game and I love to be competitive. It’s always good to be in situations to help remind you of that.”
Cilek wasn’t the only golfer with UI ties at the Iowa Amateur. Amy Ihm, who will be a freshman on the women’s golf team this fall, fired a 78 (+5) in the final round to move into the top 10 and finished in ninth place.
“She getting excited for the season,” Cilek said about Ihm. “This was a great learning experience for her. Amy is really excited to be a part of Iowa women’s golf and we are fortunate to have her on our team.”