Women’s golf takes third at MVC Championship

The Bradley women’s golf team finished the 2016-17 season on a strong note as it finished third in the Missouri Valley Conference Championships this week. The Braves shot a 943, finishing 30 strokes behind conference-winner Missouri State.

The women got off to a great start on day one as they shot a 308 at the par-72 Dalhousie Country Club. Freshman Taylor Ledwein finished as the top individual on the team with a two-over 74. Sophomore Chloe Horton also had an impressive day shooting a four-over 76.

“I think the team got comfortable quick during the first round,” head coach Mary Swanson said. “They had played the golf course to know what to expect and settled into their routines.”

The second day featured some tough weather, which provided additional challenges for the women to overcome. Originally scheduled to tee off at 10 a.m., the start time was pushed back to 1 p.m. due to rain, which continued until the midway point of the round.

Ledwein was the only Brave to shoot in the 70s during the second round with a six-over 78 while junior Ally Scaccia shot an 82. With the weather being an issue, the team struggled to build upon their first round score as they finished day two with a 326.

“I felt like we were very prepared for the poor weather in the second round,” Swanson said. “We just couldn’t seem to settle down and find a way to make par. Typically they recover from a bad shot quickly and for some reason we didn’t rebound well.”

Heading into the final day, the Braves were tied for third with Northern Iowa. The women did enough to beat out the Panthers as they wound up finishing third overall in the tournament.

The team had a final round of 309 as they were once again anchored by Ledwein, who shot a one-over 73. Scaccia also performed well with a three-over 75 as she finished the championship with a 235 and 11th overall.

Ledwein finished with a 225 at the championship, good enough for fifth overall and earned All-MVC honors as well as 2016-17 MVC Newcomer of the Year.

“Taylor is a competitor,” Swanson said. “She was focused on doing whatever it took to play her best, and she moved on from a poor shot quickly. She also understood the importance of having fun and enjoying the experience.

Even with the third place finish, Swanson said she believes her team can still work on things to get better as every player will return next fall.

“It keeps us hungry,” Swanson said. “We really believed that we could have won, but now we know what things we need to work on under pressure and improve for next season. We have a lot of positive momentum to build upon.”