St. Olaf golf has experienced a bumpy road this fall to say the least. The men’s team has placed 11th in all three of its major tournaments this season, and while the women’s team has fared better, it still hasn’t placed higher than 9th, coming back on Sept. 4 at the St. Ben’s Invitational.
However, in their season finale, the men’s and women’s golf teams shined brightest on the biggest stage, taking eighth and seventh respectively at the MIAC Championships in Coon Rapids, marking their highest placement of the season.
Melissa Biessman ’20 led the women’s team with a 76 on Monday, her best individual round of the three-day tournament. Her clutch performance allowed her to finish with an overall score of 239, placing ninth overall in the conference.
Also contributing to the Oles’ placing was Meaghan Carney ’17, who tied for 22nd overall with St. Thomas’ Kate Drimel, both shooting a total of 251. Carney began with a concerning score of 88 on Saturday, the first day of the tournament. She responded with significantly stronger rounds on Sunday and Monday, shooting an 80 and 83 to climb back into the top 25.
Rounding out the women’s team were Jane Schlendorf ’20, scoring a 272 and placing 39th overall, Emily Brainard ’20, finishing 42nd with a comparable 279 and Dew Intarachumnum ’20, who posted a 291 total score for 45th place. The trio are all first-years with promising talent who now possess valuable experience at the MIAC’s biggest competition. Their encouraging performances point towards a bright future for St. Olaf women’s golf. By the time those three become seniors, the Oles could be finishing far higher than seventh in conference if they manage to fulfill their promise demonstrated this season.
Meanwhile, men’s golf was highlighted by the performance of Hank Grunau ’19, who shot under 80 in all three rounds to finish with a score of 230. He tied for 15th, quite impressive considering he’s still a sophomore. Chris Winge ’17 closed out his final MIAC Championship with another typically strong performance. His first and third rounds each resulted in a score of 75, sandwiching a middle round 81. Winge finished just shy of Grunau with a respectable 231, tied for 17th overall in a stacked tournament.
Phillip Boldt ’18, Steve Magagna ’19 and Kristian Woie ’19 rounded out the team with totals of 247, 248 and 250, respectively, helping the Oles along to a 948 team total and an eighth place finish. Those three look to return alongside Grunau next season to build upon their already noticeable improvement.