Greenwood, Ind. – “I’ve never won one of these bigger tournaments,” said Kristi Cardwell, a senior at The University of Iowa. “I’ve come in second place before in a college tournament after finishing 4-under par for 54 holes, but never first.” With an impressive 1-under par 141 finish at Hickory Sticks Golf Club, Cardwell becomes the 19th winner of the Indiana PGA Women’s Open.
One hundred players endured brutal temperatures and long rounds during the two-day stroke play competition. After day one, Butler University senior, Julia Porter, was at the top of the leader board after firing a 2-under par 69.
Porter teed off in the last group this morning along with Carlee Cossell, Rachael Pruett, and Breanna Patz. Porter’s nerves seemed to get the best of her though, as she started with three bogeys on her first three holes, falling out of the lead.
Two groups in front of Porter, Kristi Cardwell got off to a very different start.
“My first birdie of the day was on hole 3,” said Cardwell. “Yesterday I missed that green completely but today I knocked it to 12 feet and made the putt for birdie.”
Cardwell went on to par number 4, but on the 5th hole she hit her tee shot in the bunker.
“I hit my shot out of the bunker to two feet and made the putt for birdie. That string of holes was the highlight of my round,” said Cardwell.
Cardwell was 4-under par heading to the back nine and her play remained consistent as she made par on holes 10 through 16. However, on the par 3 17th hole, Cardwell left herself in a tricky spot after landing her tee shot in the right rough with very little green between her and the hole. Calmly, she chipped it close and walked off with what looked like another easy par.
Although she bogeyed her final hole, Cardwell had secured herself a 1-under par finish, which was better than the rest of the field.
“Everything was on today,” said Cardwell.
In two weeks, Cardwell will compete in the Indiana Women’s State Amateur Championship at Otter Creek Golf Club in Columbus, Ind..
Finishing in second place today, with an even par 142 was Michelle Nash, a former Butler University player.
For full field results click here