The Hope College women’s golf team regained its winning form in time to secure back-to-back league championships the way the Flying Dutch wanted.
The Flying Dutch won the season-ending, 36-hole Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament in Battle Creek with a score of 643. They finished 15 strokes ahead of second-place Olivet.
Hope claimed its eighth MIAA championship in team history with a six-round total of 1,961. The Flying Dutch finished 36 strokes ahead of runner-up Olivet. Saint Mary’s (2,006) and Trine (2,026) will join Hope and Olivet and next spring’s 54-hole NCAA Division III Championships qualifier.
Head coach Greg Stafford said he is proud of his golfers, especially after a challenging stretch in the middle of MIAA play.
“Last week was very tough. A couple of girls were doubting their confidence,” Stafford said. “To come back like we did this weekend was great. We wanted to win the league title by winning this weekend, not because we had a big cushion. This week, the girls just played great. We’ve got a great group of girls, a real classy group of girls. I’m very happy for them. They deserved this.”
Sophomore Nicole Meyer of Brighton, Michigan (Brighton HS), earned tournament medalist honors after firing a 2-over-par 74 at Bedford Valley Country Club. She finished at 154.
Junior Britni Gielow of Norton Shores, Michigan (Mona Shores HS), placed one stroke behind Meyer in second place.
Gielow posted the low season average among MIAA golfers at 79.83 over 108 holes. Meyer was second at 80.50.
Sophomore Megan Klintworth of Jackson, Michigan (Hanover-Horton HS), came in third place at 158. She shot 80 during the final round.
Klintworth had the fourth-lowest average among MIAA gofers at 81.17.
Senior Morgan Leep of Hastings, Michigan (Grand Rapids South Christian HS), and sophomore Megan Wierenga of Byron Center, Michigan (South Christian HS), tied for 23rd place at the season-ending tournament at 177. Leep shot a final-round 84, while Wierenga had an 85