Springfield, Illinois – Fresh off a Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC) Championship in which the Oilers won by 41 strokes, the University of Findlay women's golf team looked even more impressive in their first round at the UIS Spring Invite at Panther Creek Country Club on Saturday, April 21. Findlay shot a team score of 294, the sixth-best 18-hole score in school history, and leads the event by 13 shots over the University of Missouri – St. Louis which is currently ranked one spot ahead of the Oilers in the East Region rankings.
The Oilers asserted themselves early on in the tournament, placing seven golfers inside the top 19 and five inside the top ten.
This season's G-MAC Championship Medalist, Makenzie Torres, leads the field after a round in which she made four birdies, firing a 70 (-2) to sit atop the leaderboard. Torres came out with a 37 (+1) on the first nine, but made six pars and three birdies on the closing nine to secure her sub-par round. Her 70 is tied for the third-lowest score of her career and is tied for the ninth-best 18-hole score in school history.
Right behind Torres is teammate and a two-time all-conference performer, Meredith Wipper. Wipper is currently in second place after carding a career-best 71 (-1) in the tournament's opening round. The Oilers' sophomore birdied the first hole and was never even or over par the remainder of the round as she would lead the tournament in Par 4 scoring at 3.90 (-1) for the day.
Freshman Kristina Kniesly, also a G-MAC all-conference performer, is in ninth place overall after posting a 76 (+4), putting up a 38 (+2) on both the front and back nines. Kniesly leads the field in Par 5 scoring at 4.50 (-2), but was +4 on Par 4s for the day.
Rounding out the top-ten for Findlay is sophomore Samantha Kellstrom who shot a 77 (+5) and is currently in a tie for tenth. Kellstrom opened the day with five straight pars but bogeyed three of the last four holes, including a double, on the front nine to close with a 40 (+4). Kellstrom then made par on eight of the final nine holes to close out a solid round in which she was second in the field with 14 pars.
Junior Samantha Hatter sits in T15 after a 78 (+6) in her opening round. She struggled early, making bogey on the first two holes, but cleaned up her round as, over the next 13 holes, she would make ten pars and a birdie. Three consecutive bogeys to end the round gave her a 38 (+2) on the back.