Fernanda Valdes led the Waldorf University women’s golf team by securing the individual title during the two-day Wartburg Invitational, which concluded on Saturday.
Waldorf claimed second place in the team standings with a 36-hole score of 675 strokes during its final competition before the spring portion of the North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) Championships.
Valdes compiled a score of 153, behind round scores of 78 and 75 on the par-72 layout at Prairie Links Golf Course. The junior from Morelia, Mexico has won three tournaments and recorded eight top-5 finishes so far this year.
“It’s great to see her rounding into form before the conference tournament,” Waldorf coach Mark Clouse said. “She had a great two days, so I know she’s feeling very good about the state of her game as we head into the conference meet.”
Senior Maggie Heinlein locked up fourth with a 165 after shooting rounds of 82 and 83.
Sophomore Haleigh Biernacki earned 10th with a 177 after contributing rounds of 87 and 90.
Waldorf junior Halle Hauer took 11th with a 180, behind rounds of 86 and 94.
Junior Kailee Ward recorded a 12th-place finish with a score of 180 after compiling rounds of 88 and 95.
Sophomores Mckenzie Fahrni and Haley Lawrence competed for the Warriors as individuals. Fahrni finished 19th with a 198, behind rounds of 96 and 102. Lawrence placed 20th with a 199 after carding rounds of 92 and 107.
NCAA Division III’s Wartburg College (663) topped the team standings, finishing ahead of Waldorf (675) and NCAA Division III’s Augustana College (735), which rounded out the team standings. The Warriors were right in the mix to take the team title among quality competition.
“It was a good event with three really solid women’s teams,” Clouse said. “We were right in the thick of it to win the tournament. With a few more hole putts, we would’ve taken home the championship. We played well.”
Waldorf looks to carry its momentum into the two-day spring portion of the NSAA Championships, scheduled to begin on April 24 at 9 a.m. in Onalaska, Wis. The Warriors intend to utilize every opportunity during the upcoming week to prepare for the tournament.
“We’re just a week away from our spring conference tournament,” Clouse said. “We’ll take this week to polish some of those rough edges that we might have with parts of the game that we need to have at our best.”
The opening 36 holes of the conference tournament was played during the fall and the spring portion makes up the remaining 36 holes. Bellevue University, which is receiving votes in the latest National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) poll, leads the conference standings with 659 strokes. Viterbo University (684) currently holds second and sits ahead of Waldorf (701), the University of Jamestown (716), Valley City State University (800), Dickinson State University (821) and Presentation College (1,496).
Valdes ranks fourth in the individual standings with a score of 165 to lead the Warriors. She carded rounds of 83 and 82 during the fall portion of the conference tournament.
“With a couple of solid days, we could definitely threaten that top spot,” Clouse said. “We’re definitely going to have to play some good golf to be there at the end.”