Golf struggles down the stretch at MAC Championships


golf

Ontario freshman Danielle Sawyer swings a golf club during a match.

The fight between Central Michigan, Bowling Green and Eastern Michigan in the Mid-American Conference 2017 Women's Gold Championships was a close call heading into the final round on Sunday.

Shots weren’t falling as the Chippewas scored a 329 as a team, with a team total of 974 overall. CMU finished in 10th place for the third consecutive year.

The Chippewas started the final round in ninth place and only two shots behind in-state rival Eastern Michigan. They led Bowling Green by 12 shots entering the final round.

“We can’t have holes with eight or nine shots,” said head coach Cheryl Stacy. “Those types of holes are what cost us the lead against Bowling Green.”

Bowling Green finished ninth at 972 and Eastern Michigan finished tied for seventh with Ball State at 954.

“The ladies aren’t used to being in a winning position, especially in the MAC Championship,” Stacy said. “I think they put too much pressure on themselves by focusing on how Bowling Green was playing Sunday instead of focusing solely on their play.”

Kent State, ranked 16 in the nation by Golfweek, won the MAC for the 19 consecutive season. They shot an 875 overall and were the only team to play ahead of the competition. Northern Illinois was the runner-up and shot a 909 overall.

Natalie Johnson led the Chippewas this weekend by shooting a 242, tied for 36th out of 49 competitors. Bria Colosky shot a 243 and finished 39th while Danielle Sawyer shot a 244, finishing tied for 41st.

“I was proud of the ladies, telling them there’s no reason to hang your heads low as they fought every single hole,” Stacy said. “We’ll have four seniors next year and they’ll need to hold our program’s standards higher.”

CMU has made improvements each season since the golf program re-launched in 2014. In 2015 the Chippewas finished 54 shots behind ninth place and in last season’s MAC Championships, the team was 38 shots behind ninth place.

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