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Women’s Golf tees off season with big win

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Morgan Kranz (‘21) prepares to drive the ball.

Morgan Kranz (‘21) prepares to drive the ball.

Jonathon Kuehner (‘20) | Chips

Jonathon Kuehner (‘20) | Chips

Morgan Kranz (‘21) prepares to drive the ball.

Jonathan Kuehner, Staff Writer

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Luther College Women’s Golf hosted an invitational golf meet at the Oneota Golf and Country Club on Sept. 22 and 23.  Despite the heat, the team finished first, and two Luther golfers placed first and third as individuals.

In addition to Luther, who led with a score of 678, four other teams were present at the weekend’s meet. In second place with a score of 688 was the University of Dubuque, followed by St. Scholastica with 704, St. Mary’s University with 746, and Loras College with 749.

Several individual Luther players also finished with good scores this weekend. Morgan Kranz (‘21) placed first with a score of 158 and Sydney Maule (‘20) golfed a 163, putting her in third place overall.  Linda Jiang (‘21) and Ellie Menssen (‘19) placed fourth and eighth with scores of 164 and 171, respectively.

While the women’s golf team represents a variety of ages and majors, many of the player’s experiences and motivations are the same. 

“Coming to college is a transition and there’s been ups and downs, but I think golf has definitely kept it stable,” Kranz said. “I’m really glad to be on the golf team and to have that in my life.”

Sam Kraft (‘18) also said that her experience on the golf team has been positive.

“I met a lot of great people through golfing here at Luther,” Kraft said. “It’s helped a lot with my time management with classwork, work, and golf. I plan to keep playing after college. I’m hoping to become a high school golf coach as well.”

This is far from the first success this season. Earlier this year, a Luther record was broken when the women’s team scored a 312.  This new record was broken again the next day when the team golfed a final score of 306. 

Jonathan Kuehner (‘20) | Chips
Keeley Todd (‘18) putts the ball.

“The depth of the program is really strong, and that’s what we’re holding our hat on this fall,” Head Women’s Golf Coach Eric Karius said.

The Oneota Golf and Country club typically hosts Luther’s home golf meets, but in recent years flooding has led to cancellation. 

As this is the only home meet in the women’s golf season, for many of the players this is the first home meet they have golfed in recent years. 

“It’s really nice being able to play somewhere you’re familiar with,” Sydney Maule (‘20) said. “Especially last year being a [first-year] I hadn’t played any of the courses before that we played, so it’s nice to compete at a place I was familiar [with] and I knew the course.”

For those returners who have played and practiced at the country club, it was good to be back. 

“We play out here for practice,” Kraft said. “We know the ins and outs and places to be and not to be, so it’s definitely an advantage to be out here.”

Despite their home advantage, the conditions were far from ideal. The weather on Friday and Saturday saw highs in the upper 80s and 90s.  The heat was felt by players and spectators alike, according to Karius.

“It was extremely hot and humid, and I thought the team did extremely well battling through that stuff,” Karius said.  “I know we’re spent, we’re exhausted after this weekend, and I’m proud of how they competed through mentally.  When it gets this hot, it really wears on you mentally and we were able to do a good enough job to come out on top.”

As the season continues, golfers hope for temperatures and scores to drop. Next weekend the team heads to Cedar Falls, Iowa to play the first 36 holes of the IIAC Tournament.

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The student news site of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa