ORANGE CITY, Iowa – The Dakota Wesleyan University women’s golf team got its 2012-13 season off to a solid start Tuesday afternoon with a first-place finish at the first Great Plains Athletic Conference qualifier of the year at Landsmeer in Orange City, Iowa.
The Tigers shot a 352 to beat out host-school Northwestern College by two strokes. The Red Raiders took second with a 354 and Morningside College was a distant third with a 382. Dakota Wesleyan has won the conference title in each of the past four seasons and has also won nine of the last 10 GPAC team titles.
Individually, freshman Lauren Fitts started her college golf career with a win to help lead DWU to the team title. Fitts, a Brookings, S.D., native, tied for first with Northwestern’s Emma Wynja. Both golfers shot a 41 on the front nine and a 42 on the back to finish with a total of 83. The Red Raiders’ Taylor Kline took third with an 85.
DWU had two other golfers finish in the top five and a third recorded a top-15 finish. Junior Chelsea Burback shot an 87 and tied for fourth. She shot a 41 on the front nine and a 46 on the back. Sophomore Jenna Winckler carded an 88 (43, 45) and tied for fifth. Sophomore Talia Peters shot a 94 (45, 49) and tied for 13th and Natalie Turner rounded out the DWU top five with a 99. She shot a 48 and a 51 and tied for 30th.
The Tigers are back in action Sunday and Monday, Sept. 16 and 17, when they travel to Lincoln, Neb., for the two-day Nebraska Wesleyan Invite. The second GPAC qualifier of the year is Oct. 3 at Wilderness Ridge in Lincoln, Neb., and is hosted by Doane College.