The Bradley women’s golf team finished off its fall season at the Cardinal Cup in Simpsonville, Kentucky, with a team score of 943, earning them a 13th-place finish.
Freshman Taylor Ledwein ended her fall season with a seven-over 79 the final day of play at the par-72 University of Louisville Golf Club, which tied for 47th overall (235) to lead the Braves.
“I was pretty happy with the way I played,” Ledwein said. “It was really windy and the greens were pretty fast. I definitely left some shots out there, but I’m going to build on this and hopefully get the chance to get those shots back next year.”
The Braves faced some stiff competition. The 17-team field included 10 teams ranked inside the Golfweek.com top-100 ratings, with no. 83 Minnesota (935) edging Bradley by eight shots for 12th and no. 79 Middle Tennessee State taking 11th at 933. Head coach Mary Swanson welcomes a tougher schedule and said it helped the team realize they really were not that far off from the top.
“To succeed at the highest level, both individually and as a team, you have to feel like you belong and playing on a really tough golf course against great competition helps us to elevate our games,” Swanson said.
The fourth-ranked team in the country, Florida State, posted a four-under 283 and claimed the team title at 12-over 876. No. 36 Wisconsin was second at 898 and no. 40 Kentucky followed in third at 901. The top five also included no. 11 Illinois in fourth at 908 and no. 54 Louisville and no. 49 East Carolina in a tie for fifth at 916. Bradley finished 12 shots out of the top 10.
“Playing against this type of competition is such a great opportunity to see how we stack up against some of the best,” Ledwein said. “We showed we can hold our own, and it gives us something to work toward.”
Ledwein, who carded a team-best 15 sub-80 rounds in this fall, has turned in 12-consecutive rounds in the 70s, which is tied for the sixth-longest streak in program history.
“Taylor has been a great addition to the program not only from a playing aspect but also the enthusiasm and work ethic she brings,” Swanson said. “What’s nice about Taylor is that I don’t think she’s tapped out in any means, her consistency and leadership will be key to us in the spring.”
Other contributors for the Braves included sophomore Chloe Horton, who finished just two shots behind Ledwein in a tie for 53rd at 237, and junior Ally Scaccia, who had the low round for the Braves with a final round 74 which moved her into a tie for 61st at 240.
While this may have been the last official tournament the team will play in the fall, that does not mean they will stop working.
“Over the offseason, we’re going to continue to stay motivated, and that includes working on short game, fitness and consistency,” Swanson said.
According to Ledwein, the team’s hard work over the offseason may show on the course.
“If we put in the work over the offseason, I think we can have a strong spring season and finish pretty high in the tournaments we have coming up,” Ledwein said.