The women’s field at the fifth-annual Northwest Iowa National Invitational was dominated by the Keiser Seahawks who claimed back-to-back titles in the tournament in their only two seasons competing in Le Mars.
The Seahawks were the defending national runners-up from last season and were the favorites heading into this tournament as the preseason second-ranked team in the nation. Keiser head coach Brandon Miller says familiarity with Willow Creek after last year plus constant improving to start the fall led to the great tournament.
Keiser’s Jolie Wong, a sophomore from Hong Kong, won the individual title for the meet shooting four-under-par. She started with a 69 going three strokes under par in the first 18 holes and never looked back. Wong says her short game really stands out at a course like this.
Wong finished three strokes off the top spot last year at this tournament as a freshman. This year, Wong learned from her play and adjusted things especially when she was on the green.
With the help of Luz Maria Ardila, Mohea Mansbendel shooting under par and Hoi Ki Lau shooting even par, it is no wonder this Seahawk team is so good. Coach Miller says his team never lets the moment get too big making them really controlled on the course.
Wong ended her season tied for 19th at the national championship at TPC Deere Run in Illinois last year. This year, Wong says she just needs to continue doing what has worked to get back there and have more success.
As for the rest of the team, they are not worried about where they are ranked or what the expectations are. Rather, Coach Miller wants the team to enjoy the ride because getting to play golf in college is special.
Keiser will next compete at a meet in Palm Harbor, Florida on Monday and Tuesday next week.