From Staff reports
FORT SMITH, Ark. — The Northeastern State women’s golf team finished third after Tuesday’s final round of the UAFS Lions Classic at the par-70, 5,829-yard Hardscrabble Country Club.
The RiverHawks overtook No. 11-ranked Dallas Baptist for third place after firing the second-lowest score of the tournament in the final round. NSU finished at 642 (330-312), while the Lady Patriots (325-319=644) finished fourth, two strokes behind Northeastern State.
Newman University, ranked No. 23 in the nation, won the tournament with a two-round total of 627 (316-311). Oklahoma Christian placed second at 633 (320-313).
Play was delayed an hour and a half to allow the temperature to get above freezing. NSU fought through wind chills in the 20’s for the first half of their rounds.
“In this program, we always play to win, and we weren’t able to do that today despite having opportunities in these tough conditions,” NSU coach Scott Varner said. “We played well during the toughest weather conditions early in the day and I really thought we were going to break 300.”
Seniors Kelsey Kirkpatrick and Whitney McAteer both finished in the top five. Kirkpatrick tied for second with a 13-over-par 153 (79-74). McAteer stood alone in fourth with a 15-over 155 (78-77).
Freshman McCandren Lewis tied for 18th at 165 (86-79), sophomore Alex Koch finished solo 25th at 169 (87-82), and freshman Kayla Schroeder sat alone in 42nd with a 187 (93-94).
“Kelsey and Whitney had a chance to win today,” Varner said. “Kelsey faltered a little and Whitney struggled coming in, but the rest of our girls really unraveled on the last nine holes. Overall, I’m proud with how our two seniors battled to top-5 finishes.”
Newman’s Kiersten Klekner-Alt won individual honors after shooting 11-over 151 (77-74). Oklahoma Christian’s Anna Arrese Cortadel (76-77=153) tied with Kirkpatrick for second.
Northeastern State will next tee it up April 1-2 at the Grand Canyon Invitational in Phoenix.