Senior Taylor Ledwein is playing the best golf of her collegiate career, and it couldn’t come at a better time.
With the Missouri Valley Conference Championship on the horizon, Ledwein proved that her victory in the Diane Daugherty Invitational last week was no fluke. On April 9 and 10, Ledwein and the Bradley women’s golf squad traveled to Murray, Kentucky, and earned a fourth-place finish in the Jan Weaver Invitational.
For the second straight tournament, Ledwein was able to secure an individual title, leading the field with a score of 216 (even par). The next closest golfer, Delia Gibbs of Belmont, finished three strokes behind at 219 (3-over par).
Head coach Halley Morell was thrilled for Ledwein, who became the fourth Brave ever with at least three individual victories.
“Taylor’s just playing some great golf right now,” Morell said. “She’s hitting the ball really well and she’s working hard, she’s really trusting herself and being confident. The hardest thing to do is follow up a win with another win, and that just shows where her game is.”
Ledwein had never imagined her name etched in the Bradley record books but, for her, it marks how much the hard work has paid off.
“It’s exciting to see those things,” Ledwein said. “I’ve always been more of the ‘it’s about the team rather than me’ mindset, so I don’t really pay attention to the individual things like that much.”
Alongside Ledwein, Bradley’s lineup featured sophomore Mara Flaherty (239), juniors Megan Welch (227) and Elyse Emerzian (229) and senior Maddie Hawkins (240). The five Braves showed out in the early stages, achieving a tournament-low first round score of 298 among the 12 schools.
Morell called the performance a team effort and said everyone on the team stepped up when they needed to. Ledwein herself carded a first round score of 69, which was the best individual round by any golfer in the invitational.
Tournament host Murray State came away with the title, posting a score of 898. The Racers were followed by Central Arkansas in second place (900) and Seton Hall in third (902). The Braves finished just outside the top three with a team score of 907. The performance marked the squad’s second consecutive fourth place finish.
The final stop of the shortened 2020-21 campaign takes place on April 19 and 20, where Bradley will compete in the MVC Championship at the Bogey Hills Country Club in St. Charles, Missouri.
“We’re pretty excited to get there,” Ledwein said. “For some people, it’s their first conference [championship] so there will be some nerves, but if we remember it’s just like any other tournament then we will be fine.”
Ahead of the most anticipated event for the team, Morell is confident about Bradley’s chances to showcase its skills against the rest of the Missouri Valley.
“We’re coming off two really good weeks and they’ve played some great golf and we are having a really good week of practice so far,” Morell said. “I think they’re feeling really strong and ready to go.”