Opsal leads Central women in Illinois golf tourney

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NORMAL, ILL.—Emily Opsal (senior, Wis.) grinded out a competitive finish in an otherwise disappointing afternoon for the Central College women’s golf team Sunday at the 36-hole Illinois Wesleyan Fall Classic.

            The Dutch slipped two notches to 10th in the 17-team, two-day tourney at the par-72 Ironwood Golf Course. The University of Wis.-Whitewater won with 297-310—607, followed by Illinois Wesleyan University at 304-305—609 and DePauw University (Ind.) at 317-313—630. Central shot 333-344—677, tying with Illinois College. The University of Dubuque moved u to eighth at 335-339—674.

            Opsal shot 82 and closed at 79-82—161, tying for 20th, 14 shots out of first place.

            “Emily said she didn’t feel great today but she managed to post a respectable score,” coach Tim Wilkinson said.

            Heavy overnight rains forced a 2-hour delay Sunday and the Dutch were a bit out of sync throughout the round, Wilkinson said. Lexie Patton (senior, Aurelia, Alta-Aurelia HS) finished at 83-87–170, Rachael Danielson (sophomore, Jefferson, Greene County HS)  had 84-87–171, Delaney Underwood (freshman, Mitchellville, Colfax-Mingo HS) shot 87-88–175 and Madison Clark (freshman, Bloomington, Ill., Central Catholic HS) had 93-98—191.

            Wilkinson said the players identified a common issue with Sunday’s round.

            “They all said, ‘We didn’t hit enough fairways and greens,’” he said. “We also didn’t putt as well as we needed to, to overcome that. But on the positive side, this will prepare us for the conference tournament, because we have to keep the ball in the fairway at the Ames Country Club.”

            The league tourney is in Ames Oct. 5-7.

            The Dutch first travel to Storm Lake for the Buena Vista Invitational Friday and Saturday at the Lake Creek Country Club. Teams tee off Friday at 9 a.m. and Saturday at 11 a.m. Wilkinson said a small field of primarily northwest Iowa schools is expected. Central will field two teams as the entire 10-player roster makes the trip.

            “It’s a good opportunity for the whole team to travel,” Wilkinson said.