Gaffney, Lerdal lead Storm in final rounds of IIAC Championship

by Aaron Young

At the end of rounds one and two at the IIAC Golf Championship, the Simpson women’s golf team is currently sitting in the fourth-place position.

With rounds three and four coming up Oct. 4-5 in Cedar Rapids, junior golfer Jessica Lerdal said that the Storm are actually a little disappointed in its fourth-place performance after the two-day event.

“We have already beat Luther and Central this year, and we were second in the conference going into the meet,” Lerdal said. “Central and Luther played the best they’ve played as a team all year.”

Defending champion Wartburg is leading the pack, posting a team score of 631. In second is Central with 676 points and Luther with 679 points.

Simpson has recorded 690 points after the second round of play. Simpson was however tied for second after the first 18 holes, but had slipped on the second day. Lerdal explained that the team’s goal heading into the final rounds of play is to have each player shoot at least five strokes better.

“Doing this should move us up in position going into day four,” Lerdal said. 

Leading the Storm brigade on the green is senior Jennifer Gaffney. The 2012 IIAC Golfer of the Year has recorded a score of 160 going into the final two days of the tournament, currently nestled in third-place. Gaffney is just eight shots behind the leader, Wartburg’s Rochelle Beardsley.

Lerdal is in eighth after posting a score of 168 after two rounds of play.  She said she’s happy being in the top 15 thus far, but knows there is always room for improvement. 

“I hope I play better and move up in the standings,” Lerdal said.

She also knows her roommate in Gaffney can shoot better than what she did, explaining that Gaffney was not happy with her scores.

“Being the former conference champion, I’m sure she’s a little unhappy with sitting in third place, but I’m confident she will play better and defend her title,” Lerdal said. 

Senior Stacy Bergeson is in 12th, shooting a 172 after 36 holes. Senior Molly Hill is tied for 29th with a 190 and sophomore Holly Baiotto is tied for 36th with a 201.

Lerdal said that the goal heading into the final two days of the tournament is simply just win.

“I am confident my teammates can shoot better and we can move up in the standings,” Lerdal said.

The final rounds of play will take place at Elmcrest Country Club in Cedar Rapids on Oct. 4-5.