They finished only behind nationally ranked St. Thomas and Gustavus. On the third day, they shot just one stroke worse than Gustavus.
The Oles grabbed first place after day one and maintained it through the tournament to finish with a comfortable lead over St. Benedict. After finishing 12th, seventh, and 11th in their fall warm-up tournaments, the Oles put together three consistent days of excellent team golf. Britta Hendrickson '09 led the way with a fourth place finish overall. Hendrickson shot 82-79-82 for an overall score of 243.
However, the other four Oles showcased strong games as well. Five golfers compete each day for the schools, though the top four scores compile the team total.
In the second round, the team combined to shoot 337, a new school record for low combined score. They surrounded that score with 343 on both the first and third day of the tournament. Other individuals at the tournament all finished within the top 25. Lizzy Zahn '10 placed 17th with 259, while Emily Segar '09 came in 21st with 261. Teammates Alyssa Zuehl '09 and Anna Johnson '08 tied for 25th with 268.
Hendrickson, who also plays basketball, said she finally decided to play golf for St. Olaf after two years of toying with the idea. Johnson persistently e-mailed her and discussed it with her in person until Hendrickson finally gave in and said yes in September.
"I don't regret it one bit," Hendrickson said. "Everyone on the team is fantastic. I've really enjoyed playing and hanging out with all the girls. Our coach, Luke Benoit, has done a wonderful job pushing Ole women's golf to a new level."
Truly, Ole women's golf has reached a new level. The Oles finished eighth in 2005 and sixth in the MIAC last season.
"Third place is a huge stepping stone for us," Hendrickson said. "After day one, we were pretty pumped to see we were sitting in third place. Our excitement level progressed each day, and overall it was a very fun weekend."
The Oles lose just one senior from their top five. They resume play in the spring.