DESTIN, Fla. – Concordia University Wisconsin freshman Nina Puch fired a career-best 72 as she helped pace the Women's Golf team at day three of the NCAA Division III Championships at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort Thursday.
As a team the Falcons shot 20 strokes better than they did on day two of the event as they keep improving their score each round. CUW improved by nine strokes from day one to day two before the 20-stroke improvement Thursday.
Puch (Des Plaines, Ill.) was the story of the day as she recorded the lowest round in day three, which also tied for the lowest round of the tournament with an even-par 72. The freshman fired four birdies during her round as she started out with a birdie on hole 10 and also birdied hole 16, 7, and 9. Puch, as well as the rest of the Falcons, started her round on the back nine.
Puch was two under through her first nine holes but entered her final three holes of the round at one-over par. From there she birdied two holes and bogeyed another, finishing with the even-par round.
The rest of the Falcons also performed well as freshmen Lexi Westphal (Brownsville, Wis.) and Emmy Dill (Bristol, Wis.) each recorded their best round of the tournament. Westphal fired a 90, which was her best score by 11 strokes, while Dill improved by nine strokes for the second straight day, recording a 100.
"We continued to improve today, which is what we are looking to do every day," said Falcons head coach Jim Ingman. "Our biggest issues early in the tournament were nerves and a lack of spring season but our scoring today shows the players are starting to calm down."
Westphal's round included seven pars and a birdie on the par-three 11th. Dill recorded a par on hole 7 and also had nine bogeys in her round.
Freshmen Emily Stephenson (Ashland, Wis.) and Madalyn Joannes (Wauwatosa, Wis.) rounded out the CUW lineup on Monday with scores of 102 and 118, respectively. Stephenson had three pars in her round, while Joannes carded a part on hole 7.
With their team score of 364, CUW gained 12 strokes on Carroll University, who currently sits in 20th place. Carroll shot a 376 on Thursday and the two teams will be paired together again Friday, with Franklin College joining them. The three schools will begin teeing off at 7:30 a.m. on hole 10. The Falcons now trail Carroll by 14 strokes heading into the fourth and final round.
"I am really proud of these five freshmen for not giving up and continuing to grow on the course at the top level," said Ingman. "We closed the gap on Carroll today, which is another goal of ours as we move forward tomorrow."
Live stats of the final round will once again be available via CUWFalcons.com.