The St. Olaf women’s golf team placed fifth at the St. Kate’s Invite with Solveig Christenson ’20 leading the team. Christenson finished third overall among 65 golfers from 11 different teams at the Bellwood Oaks Golf Club.
After the first day, Christenson finished the round tied for sixth place with an 80 (+7). Christenson improved the next day, finishing the tournament with a 75. Her two scores placed her third overall with a combined score of 155, only four shots behind the leader Alyssa Akiyama from Carleton. Carleton won the team event, outscoring the next best team by 29 strokes.
“I was really happy with the way I played,” Christenson said. “It was a par 73, which was tricky. Usually golf courses have a par of 72. Mentally, it was difficult because it made the course longer and my strength within golf is not hitting the ball far.”
Carleton consistently produces a highly competitive women’s golf program. The team started the season as the ninth best in the country according to the Women’s Golf Coaches Association Division III rankings. After an undefeated fall season, Carleton became the best in the entire country.
“The Carleton team is so nice, we always find ourselves cheering them on when they play at Nationals,” Christenson said.
The preceding weekend, the St. Olaf golf team was set to compete at the MIAC championship at Pebble Creek Golf Club in Becker, Minn.
The week beforehand, the team wanted to focus on practicing their short game and putting, a possible area of improvement from the St. Kate’s tournament.
“We know the course well because we play there every year,” Christenson said. “We need to go in with a good attitude and have fun. We just need to take every shot one at a time.”
The St. Olaf team placed fifth. Shooting 1,004 as a team, they finished only 19 strokes behind St. Catherine in fourth place.
Melissa Biesmann ’20 led the team the first two days, shooting 84 on Friday and 78 on Saturday. Andree Blackburn ’21 finished second for the team, seventeenth overall, with 249 strokes over the span of the three day tournament. Christenson finished the weekend with the top score for St. Olaf with a fifth place finish on Sunday.
“We know the course well because we play there every year. We need to go in with a good attitude and have fun. We just need to take every shot one at a time.” – Solveig Christenson ’20
Once again, Carleton won the tournament. The tournament’s top five individual golfers were all from Carleton. They repeated as conference champions, winning their third conference title in the last five years. In winning, they broke their own conference tournament record by 54 strokes.
The team hopes to take time during the offseason to improve. They look to come back next season to compete for a conference championship. The last time the St. Olaf women’s golf team won the conference was in 2012.