Golfers place first, third in season openers

Story by Sara

The Baker University women’s golf team ended its fall season undefeated against Heart of America Athletic Conference opponents and sat atop the conference leaderboard.

The Wildcats kept that streak alive during their spring season opener Monday-Tuesday as they won the Missouri Valley College Spring Invite in Marshall, Mo., over Central Methodist University, Graceland University and MVC.

“I expect the girls to pick up where they left off in the fall,” head coach Karen Exon said. “I feel really good about where the girls are.”

Baker and Central Methodist were tied after the first round of play, but BU finished 25 strokes ahead of the Eagles in round two.

Freshman Lindsey Mateer shot the best individual score of the tournament by posting an 85 during the opening round and an 83 on day two.

Senior Rachel Strecker helped Baker sweep the top two spots of the tournament as she shot a tournament total of 180.

Freshman Rebecca Holder posted the third best score for the Wildcats as she finished sixth overall with a tournament score of 186.

The men’s team also had a successful campaign during its first tournament of the spring season March 24-26, as the Wildcats finished third behind No. 25 Ashford University and NCAA Division III Central College during the Graceland University Spring Invitational in Maryville, Mo.

“What I am really pleased about was we finished third out of 14 teams and we were significantly better than anyone else from our conference,” Exon said. “And I am also pleased that we put two good days back-to-back together. We’ve struggled with that some in the past.”

The Wildcats were six strokes behind Ashford, the eventual tournament winner, after the first day of play with a score of 304. Baker shot an even better 302 on day two, but both Ashford and Central College posted sub-300 scores.

Junior Alex Zuzelski tied for the third best individual score of the tournament and was on top of the leaderboard after day one. Sophomore Kelley Thompson had the second best overall score for Baker by posting a 153 for the tournament. Senior Mason Dick rounded out the top three for the Wildcats by shooting a 78 and then a 76.

Baker’s entire varsity squad shot a 79 or better on the second day despite a one-hour lightning delay.

“I was really pleased to see us continue to play well in adverse conditions,” Exon said. “It wasn’t very pleasant playing on Saturday and they just soldiered through it.”

The Wildcats’ junior varsity squad tied for a 10th-place finish with a 663 team score.

Baker will have a chance to play on the course again this season as Graceland and Mozingo Lake Golf Course host the conference tournament April 28.

The men’s and women’s teams will resume their schedules Monday-Tuesday for the Eagle Open in Boonville, Mo. The tournament is hosted by CMU