Penn State got off to a solid start behind freshman Madelein Herr, the former Council Rock North standout, in the Hurricane Invitational at The Biltmore in Coral Gables, Fla. Monday while, across the country in the Arizona desert, Notre Dame sophomore Isabella DiLisio, the 2013 PIAA Class AAA champion at Mount St. Joseph, couldn’t hold on to the lead, but finished tied for third at the Westbrook Spring Invitational in Peoria, Ariz.
Herr, who claimed a District One Class AAA title as a senior at Council Rock North, had four birdies on her way to an even-par 72 over the 6,150-yard, par-72 Donald Ross classic design at The Biltmore that has her tied for 12th in the individual standings.
Herr helped Denise St. Pierre’s Nittany Lions, No. 72 in the latest Golfstat rankings, to fifth place in the team standings at 3-over 291, just five shots back of leader Louisville. The No. 46 Cardinals, coming off a solid third-place finish at last week’s Central District Invitational in Port St. Lucie, Fla., carded a 2-under 286 to take the lead after the opening round of the 54-hole event.
Defending champion Northwestern, ranked 16th, is in second place after the reigning Big Ten co-champions posted a 1-over 289. Host Miami, the highest-ranked team in the field at No. 14, and No. 34 Michigan are tied for third at 2-over 290 with Penn State another shot back in fifth at 291.
Penn State got a trio of 1-over 73s to back up Herr’s even-par effort. Sophomore Lauren Waller, who lost to Radnor’s Brynn Walker in a playoff at the 2014 PIAA Class AAA Tournament as a senior at Canon McMillan, sophomore Cara Basso, who won the 2012 PIAA Class AA title as a sophomore at Villa Maria Academy, and Kate Granahan, a graduate student who starred scholastically at Parkland, are all in the group tied for 20th.
It was a disappointing start for sophomore Jackie Rogowicz, a two-time District One champion at Pennsbury, as she is tied for 81st with an 81. Ashni Dhruva, a freshman from Katy, Texas, competed as an individual for Penn State and is tied for 34th after a solid 75.
Rogowicz and Herr represented the Penn State program at last summer’s U.S. Women’s Amateur at Rolling Green Golf Club. Rogowicz came up short of a spot in match play when she lost out in a nine-player playoff for the final five spots.
Louisville was led by Olivia Cason, a sophomore from Owensboro, Ky. who is one of three players tied for first in the individual chase after carding a 3-under 69. Lauren Hartlage, a freshman from Elizabethtown, Ky. who is coming off a fourth-place finish at the Central District Invitational, continued her strong play with a 1-under 71 that has her tied for seventh.
Also counting for the Cardinals were Molly Skapik, a junior from Miamisburg, Ohio who is in the group tied for 12th at even-par 72, and Louise Oxner, a senior from Greenville, S.C. who is tied for 26th after a 2-over 74.
Northwestern’s Hannah Kim, a junior from Chula Vista, Calif., is in the group tied for first at 3-under 69 as she tries to repeat as the individual champion. The third member of the leading trio is Barry’s Tilda Larsson, a sophomore from Sweden. Larsson and the Buccaneers are the No. 2-ranked team in Division II.
Three players are tied for fourth at 2-under 70, including Florida International’s Camila Serrano, a senior from Colombia, South Florida’s Nicole Autrique, a senior from Mexico, and Michigan’s Emily White, a junior from Saline, Mich.
Meanwhile at the Westbrook Spring Invitational, DiLisio saw her three-shot lead disappear in the battle for the individual title as she carded a 1-over 73 over the 6,269-yard, par-72 Vistas Course at Westbrook Village Golf Club to finish tied for third at 5-under 211. DiLisio had opened the Westbrook with rounds of 68 and 70 in Sunday’s double round for a 6-under 138 total.
Nebraska’s Audrey Judd, a junior from Olathe, Kan., fired a 4-under 68 to surge past DiLisio to the individual title with a 7-under 209 total.
Kansas State’s Connie Jaffrey, a junior from Scotland, fired a 5-under 67 to grab runnerup honors at 6-under 210 and lead the No. 47 Wildcats to the team title.
Illinois’ Tristyn Nowlin, a freshman from Richmond, Ky., got a share of third with DiLisio as she carded a final-round 69 to join DiLisio at 5-under 211.
Jaffrey led Kansas State to a final round of 5-under 283 that gave the Wildcats the team crown with a 3-under 861 total. The Wildcats’ cross-state rival Kansas, ranked 105th, and No. 28 Ohio State, the reigning Big Ten co-champion, finished tied for second, four shots back of Kansas State at 1-over 865. The Jayhawks, who held a narrow two-shot edge over Kansas State after Sunday’s double round, had a final-round 289. The Buckeyes matched Kansas State’s final-round 283 to grab its share of second.
Two more Big Ten entrants, No. 29 Illinois and No. 71 Iowa, finished fourth and fifth, respectively. The Illini had a final-round 291 to finish at 7-over 871 and the Hawkeyes had a final-round 287 to finish at 9-over 873.
Host Wisconsin, ranked 38th, finished seventh at 877 after a final-round 286. DiLisio and the No. 66 Fighting Irish struggled with a 297 Monday to share ninth place with No. 58 Washington State, which posted a 5-under 283 in the final round.
Kansas State had a second player in the top 10 as Madison Talley, a senior from Clarkesville, Ark., finished in a tie for 10th at 1-under 215. But in a classic example of how team golf works, the Wildcats were able to toss Talley’s final-round 74 because three other players matched par at 72.
Tash Carlsson, a freshman from South Africa, finished tied for 21st at 2-over 218 with her 72, Katherine Gravel-Coursol, a senior from Canada, matched par to finish tied for 31st at 5-over 221 and Paige Nelson, a senior from Branch Texas, used her final-round 72 to finish tied for 37th at 6-over 222.