Tigers, Fitts increase lead at second GPAC Qualifier

Lauren Fitts

Lauren Fitts

Chelsea Burback

Chelsea Burback

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Dakota Wesleyan University women’s golf team and freshman Lauren Fitts both hold comfortable leads in the Great Plains Athletic Conference team and individual races heading into the spring season.

The Tigers beat Morningside College by 15 strokes and Northwestern College by 27 strokes Wednesday afternoon at the second GPAC Qualifier of the year at Wilderness Ridge in Lincoln, Neb., to extend their lead in the conference standings. DWU won the event with a 333. Morningside took second with a 348 and Northwestern was third with a 360.

The Tigers were two strokes ahead of the Red Raiders after the first qualifier, but increased their lead to 29 after Wednesday’s round. After two qualifiers this fall, Dakota Wesleyan leads the team race with a 113 and Northwestern is second with a 142. The Mustangs are 45 strokes behind the Tigers with a 158.

Individually, Fitts widened her lead with a first-place finish Wednesday. She won the second qualifier with a 79. She shot a 43 on the front and a 36 on the back nine. Briar Cliff’s Dawn Chapman took second with an 80 and DWU’s Chelsea Burback finished third with an 81.

Fitts and Northwestern’s Emma Wynja were tied after the first qualifier, but Wynja tied for eighth with an 87 Wednesday, putting Fitts alone in first. She leads the individual race with a 162. Burback and Chapman are tied for second with 168s after two rounds and Wynja dropped to fourth with a 170. Also for the Tigers, Jenna Winckler is fifth with a 172, Talia Peters is tied for 12th with a 183 and Natalie Turner is tied for 33rd with a 193.

Wednesday afternoon, three of the Tigers’ top five finished in the top four. Fitts won the qualifier and Burback took third. Burback shot a 39 on the front and a 42 on the back. Winckler tied for fourth with an 84 after carding a 46 on the front nine and a 38 on the back. Peters tied for 12th with an 89 (43, 46) and Turner tied for 27th with a 94 (49, 45).

Dakota Wesleyan wraps up the fall season Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 8-9, when it travels to Oklahoma City, Okla., for the OCU Stars Fall Invite.