April 16, 2012
Lowell has Bearcats looking for history
SMITHVILLE, Mo. – It is not where the Northwest Missouri State women’s golfers expected to be sitting after Monday’s first round of the MIAA Golf Championships at Paradise Point Golf Course. However, sophomore Cassie Lowell has the Bearcats in striking distance as they sit just five shots behind leader, Fort Hays State.
Lowell who is playing some of her best golf in her young career got off to another great start on Monday to lead the field after round one. Lowell fired a first round 76 to pace the field as the sophomore is coming off her first win of the spring season at last week’s Avila Invitational. A win by Lowell and the Bearcats would be a program first individually and as a team.
“Cassie has really been on fire lately,” head coach Pat McLaughlin said. “I feel like her confidence is high and she is in position to win it all tomorrow. Our top two have been very solid and Steph Charteris is close too. Steph left some putts out there that she’ll make tomorrow and we’ll look really good.”
Steph Charteris also carded a solid round finishing with an 81 and tied for third place. Natalie Bird of Missouri Western sits in second after a first round 79 while Charteris and a pair of Fort Hays State golfers sit tied in third.
As a team Northwest is just five strokes off the lead after a first round 338. Fort Hays State leads the championships at 333 while Missouri Western is three shots behind them after a first day 336.
“We would always like to be sitting in first after the first day,” McLaughlin continued. “We had some issues in the middle of our rounds giving us some big numbers. A couple holes here and there are really the difference right now of us being in first or third.”
The Bearcats who have won their last two tournaments heading into the MIAA Championships were hurt by a few holes from the final two scorers. However, the trio of Ashley Powers, Taylor Gard and Kristina D’Angela all stayed solid and have Northwest within striking distance of its first MIAA Championship.
Powers sits tied for 14th after a first round 89 while Gard shot a 92 and is tied at 19th.
D’Angela just missed the scoring for Northwest after a first round 94.
Teams will line up at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday morning while the Bearcats will tee off in the final pairings with Fort Hays State and Missouri Western. D’Angela will lead the Bearcats off No. 1 at 8:20 a.m. as Lowell will tee off with the leaders at 9 a.m.
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