This week's Missouri Valley Conference golfers of the week are Kate Laegeler of Southern Illinois and Kyle Bragg of Illinois State. Laegeler took medalist honors at the Saluki Invitational, which featured six MVC teams. Bragg was the top MVC finisher at the UALR/First Tee Collegiate Classic.
Kate Laegeler, a senior from Decatur, Ill., won the 36-hole Saluki Invitational. The Salukis hosted the 15th annual event last weekend, finishing 4th of 15 behind Drake, Ball State, and Bradley. Laegeler took home the individual title after leading all 92 golfers with a 152 (74-78). She held the first-place spot through both rounds of the 36-hold tournament. Her 74 in the first round ties her all-time personal low score. Sunday’s weather conditions were unfavorable with cooler temperatures and wind after rain came through Southern Illinois all day Saturday. Other top MVC finishers at the tournament included Olivia Lansing, Drake (2nd), Amanda Vogt, Drake (t3rd), Breanne Smith, Indiana State (t3rd), and Kelly Amundrud, Bradley (t3rd).
Three Valley schools (UNI, WSU, MSU) competed at the UALR Women’s Golf Classic in Hot Springs, Ark. It was a strong 21-team field held at the Diamante Country Club, a par 72, 6,200-yard course. Conditions were tough both days, heavy rain made the already challenging course more difficult. Play was delayed for the final round after receiving over an inch of rain Monday night. MSU's Stacey Rodger shot 78-74-80 to finish tied for 13th place out of 104 individual golfers. Her 54-hole total of 232 was five strokes out of a top three finish. Wichita State was led by Krista Hrdlicka (26th), while Heather Frye was UNI's top finisher (31st).
Three Valley men's teams (ILS, UNI, MSU) competed at the UALR/First Tee Collegiate Classic held on Monday and Tuesday. The 18-team field played on the par 72, 7,221-yard Bear Den Course in Little Rock, Ark. Lamar came from behind, shooting 287 in the final round to capture the team title with a 54-hole total 879. Medalist honors went to Gideon Pienaar of Central Arkansas. He posted rounds of 70-71-71 to finish four-under-par for the tournament at 212. Kyle Bragg, a junior from Illinois State, posted a 7-over-par 223 (76-72-75) and earned a share of 20th place. He led the Redbirds to an eighth-place finish, shooting an 897 (302-293-302), beating fellow Missouri Valley Conference foes Northern Iowa (956) and Missouri State (961). Bragg’s 7-over-par 223 was low amongst fellow MVC competitors. Junior Ryan Weinhaus led Missouri State for the tournament, finishing tied for 51st individually. And UNI was led by Tyler Johnson (70th).
Cold and windy weather cancelled Sunday's final round of the Ball State Cardinal Collegiate Golf Tournament at Sultan's Run Golf Course in Jasper. Behind Matt Hunsaker's 6-over-par 150 on Saturday, Evansville finished third in the 14-team tournament with a team score of 610. Ball State (591) won and Miami of Ohio (606) placed second. UE's third place finish out of 14 teams was its best of the 2008-09 season.