Women’s golf tops the leaderboard at St. Thomas Invitational

The No. 15-ranked women’s golf team won the St. Thomas Invitational, after the two-day tournament was called after one round of play due to poor weather conditions.

Doyle O’Brien topped the leaderboard at newly opened Pebble Creek Golf Course in Becker, Minn., shooting five strokes over par.

“My putting on the front nine was really, really good yesterday. It just kind of kept me in there for sure,” O’Brien said. “I think the front nine stuck out more, but the back nine wasn’t bad by any means. The front nine I made two or three more putts than I did on the back nine.”

Erin Dingmann tied for second place with St. Olaf’s Nadia Baka, trailing O’Brien by one stroke in the individual competition.

“Doyle was very consistent – both Doyle and Erin. A few birdies, a few bogeys, but that’s the key to not have any huge doubles or triples, and that’s why they obviously play well. Just very steady golf,” coach Sarah Evens said.

O’Brien was the MIAC leader in the fall, averaging a score of 77.9 stokes. Dingmann was a close third, averaging 78.9 strokes.

Evens said the team depended on the strong performances from the Tommies’ No. 1 and No. 2 golfers.

“Those were two huge scores for us because my number three, four and five kind of struggled a little bit.” Evens I mean, their scores definitely weren’t a struggle, but it was kind of two, three or four holes. So, it’s not like it’s terrible, they just had a couple big numbers which hurt them.”

Kristin Tischer shot an 83 and said a variety of factors played into her performance.

“I would say it was a little bit of everything. I had a good couple rounds in Arizona, and I started to get a little bit more confident in my game,” Tischer said. “I would say my short game and putting was a big help.”

The Tommies shot 45 over par as a team, placing first and finishing six strokes ahead of St. Catherine’s University in the team competition. Evens attributed the higher scores to the season just getting underway and having the first meet in Minnesota.

The St. Thomas Invitational was intended to be a two-day event, but the decision was made after Saturday’s round by the coaches to end the event.

“It was a pretty tough decision. We all got together yesterday and the wind chill was the biggest factor. It was going to be a high of 41 and winds at 15-20 mph,” Evens said. “So the wind chill was going to be in the 30’s and that’s pretty challenging when you have bare hands and have to try to swing a golf club.”

The Tommies resume play Friday at the Bethel University Invitational.

Jordan Kruger can be reached at krug6172@stthomas.edu.