Erickson wins individual title as Ole women repeat as MIAC champions
October 8, 2012
COON RAPIDS, Minn. - Molly Erickson fired a final-round 81 on Monday to win the individual title as the St. Olaf women's golf team won its second straight MIAC championship.
The individual crown didn't come easily for Erickson (80-74-81--235, +19), who clinched the title by making a bogey on the 18th after missing the green with a long approach. She made an eight on the par-4 fifth, but settled in under tough playing conditions to win her third straight tournament.
"I didn't think I had a chance [to win the tournament], after making the quad," Erickson said. She came in at 40 on the back nine, closing the round and tournament with three pars and the bogey on 18.
"It was a grind for her," head coach Luke Benoit said. "But Molly's the best player in the league right now. She takes some of the pressure off the rest of our team. They know she'll post a pretty good number every time out."
The Oles had three All-MIAC performers, as Maxine Carlson (82-79-79--240, +24) finished fourth and Molly Knutson (86-81-78--245, +29) ninth. Knutson was even on the back nine and her 78 matched the best mark of the final round.
"I'm really happy how people came together to play their best in the most important tournament," said Benoit. "We weren't ready a month ago, but we put the work in over the last few weeks and it paid off."
The Oles' Nadia Baka (87-80-84--251, +35) and Linde Sundell (82-84-85--251, +35) came in with 84 and 85 in the final round to help the Oles clinch, and finish in a 12th place tie individually.
The win gives St. Olaf the automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championships in the spring. St. Olaf finished 10th last season at the NCAA's.
Erickson's individual win gave St. Olaf back-to-back league champions. Vanessa Kleckner won the event last fall.