Junior Danielle Lemek won the Cardinal Cup by shooting a three-under par, 69 in her final round to claim individual medal honors and help push Bradley to an eighth place finish.
Lemek shot a 69 in both the second and final round to bring her career total to four rounds under 70, setting a new Bradley record. Lemek had a three-round total of 213 to win the tournament by four strokes over Memphis’ Michaela Fletcher.
“I feel like I finally did what I was supposed to do: win a big tournament,” Lemek said.
On Wednesday, Lemek became the fourth player ever to be named Missouri Valley Conference Golfer of the Week for the 11th time in their career. She won MVC Golfer of the Year last season after claiming the individual championship.
“I’m just trying to prove I am a decent golfer and can show up in these big tournaments,” Lemek said.
The Braves trailed Ball State by two strokes heading into the final round, but a combined team score of 311 in the final round pushed the Braves into eighth place for the tournament. Bradley beat Missouri Valley Conference rival Illinois State by 13 strokes at the tournament.
“That field is one of the best we have played in the last few years,” coach Mary Swanson said. “This is a step moving in the right direction.”
Freshman Ally Scaccia finished in a tie for 39th with a three-round total of 232, and Junior Jenna Roadley finished tied for 42nd, one stroke behind Scaccia.
The women will have a week off before returning to competition Sept. 29-30 at the John Imes Invitational in Columbia, MO.
Meanwhile, in the Land of Lincoln, the Bradley men’s team finished in a tie for sixth at the rain-shortened Redbird Invitational.
Senior Seth Trolia tied for seventh earning a top-10 finish with a two-round total of 144. Trolia was two-over par for the tournament through two rounds, to earn him his eighth top-10 finish of his career. Trolia struggled in his previous two tournaments to begin the season, but hopes to take pressure off himself and settle in.
“It’s a course that sets up well for him,” coach Jeff Roche said. “Hopefully he can take something from that: a confidence boost.”
There were eight MVC schools at the tournament, including Bradley. ISU finished in first and SIU finished third. Bradley was tied with Drake and Loyola heading into the final round, with Missouri State, Northern Iowa and Evansville to follow.
“We knew we had a pretty good shot of beating most of those team,” Trolia said. “We knew it would be a pretty good test.”
The men’s team will have a week off before returning to action Sept. 28-30 at the Badger Invitational in Madison, Wisconsin.