McKenzie Paul captured the individual title to lead her UW-Oshkosh team to victory at the WIAC Women's Golf Championship held this past weekend (Oct. 9-11) in Nekoosa. The 54-hole tournament was played at the Lake Arrowhead Golf Course.
UW-Oshkosh, which led its six other team competitors from start to finish, totaled 992 strokes to rank well ahead of the 1,039 compiled by second-place and 2013 champion UW-Eau Claire. The Blugolds were in second place throughout the tournament, trailing the Titans by 14 strokes after the first day of competition and 16 after the second.
UW-Whitewater finished third at this year's championship with 1,049 strokes, while UW-Platteville placed fourth with 1,069, defending champion UW-Stout fifth with 1,101, UW-Stevens Point sixth with 1,179 and UW-River Falls seventh with 1,228.
The WIAC title was the fourth for UW-Oshkosh. The Titans previously claimed championships in 2000, 2002 and 2003. UW-Oshkosh placed third at last year's event and finished fourth in 2013.
With the victory, UW-Oshkosh secured the WIAC's automatic entry to the 2016 NCAA Division III Championship that will be held next May in Houston, Texas. The appearance at the national tournament will be the third for the Titans, who placed fourth at the 2004 event and fifth in 2003.
Like her UW-Oshkosh team, Paul also led her competitors from the start. Paul totaled 232 strokes (13-over par) to defeat 42 other golfers, including UW-Oshkosh teammate Kayla Priebe, who placed second with 245 strokes (26-over par).
Paul recorded 18-hole scores of 78 on the first and second day of competition and 76 on the third. She tallied six birdies and a tournament-leading 33 pars. Paul, who was a fourth-place finisher at each of the previous two WIAC Championships, joins Markka Farrington (2000) and Cheryl Treadwell (2002) as individual champions for the Titans.
Priebe's shot count featured daily rounds of 81, 86 and 78. She finished the tournament with six birdies and 21 pars.
Rounding out the top four golfers were third-place Stephanie Baribeau of UW-Platteville with 248 strokes and fourth-place Katie Moore of UW-Eau Claire with 249. UW-Stout's Rachel Hernandez and UW-Oshkosh's Laura Stair tied for fifth place with 251 strokes. Stair concluded the tournament with five pars and 21 birdies.
UW-Oshkosh also had Micayla Richards finish 13th with 264 strokes, Ireland Dunne 21st with 274, Samantha Kuik 24th with 277 and Amanda Pederson 27th with 283. Ireland and Richards led the group with two birdies and 21 pars, respectively.
UW-Oshkosh's Liza Ruetten was named WIAC Coach of the Year following her team's performance. She is the first UW-Oshkosh coach to win the award since Kris Schoonover in 2000.
UW-Platteville's Taylor Egnarski received the Judy Kruckman Scholar-Athlete Award, which is sponsored by Badgerland Financial.
UW-Oshkosh resumes its 2015-16 season in April.