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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Knights ride low first round to royal match title

<aldine Tellbuescher (Sr./Ashiya, Japan/Canadian Academy) posted a nine-over par 153, finishing in a tie for third, two other Knights finished inside the top 10, and the Carleton College women’s golf team rode a sizzling opening round en route to the team victory at the Royal Match with a two-day total of 618.

The Knights posted a 14-over par 302 in Saturday’s first round, the fourth-lowest round in school history. They were paced by Alyssa Akiyama’s (Fy./Terrace Park, Ohio/Seven Hills School) one-over par, as the reigning MIAC champion overcame a five-over par front nine by touring the final nine holes in four-under par 32. Tellbuescher and Ayumi Sakamoto (So./Honolulu/’Iolani School) added matching 76s, while Ziyi Wang (So./Beijing City, China/Lighthouse Christian Academy) finished at four-over par 77.

“We’d been waiting for a round like that, and I think we were able to carry over the focus we had in last weekend’s match-play win over Gustavus into that first round,” Carleton head coach Eric Sieger said. “When we’re focused on that singular shot in front of us and keeping a positive mind set, we can take it very low.”

The Knights seemed to lose that edge on Sunday, but were bailed out by Tellbuescher’s steadiness and the emergence of first-year Kelsey Sullivan (Simsbury, Conn.). Sullivan posted her first sub-80 round of her collegiate career at 79, as she played her first 11 holes in two-over par, and offset three straight bogeys with par saves at the par-4 13th and 15th holes. She clinched the 79 with a difficult two-putt bogey on the par-3 16th.
“We’ve struggled to get production from that fifth spot, but Kelsey has really stepped up these last few weeks since moving into the starting lineup and given us some good scores from there,” Sieger said. “She’s put in the work, so it’s great to see her reap the rewards of that effort.”

Tellbuescher was solid all weekend, posting rounds of 76 and 77. She hit 15 greens in regulation on Saturday and 11 on Sunday. She owned the back nine both days, posting identical one-over par 37s.

Akiyama, the individual first-round leader, ended tied for fifth while Sakamoto was T7th. Wang was T13th and Sullivan 17th overall, as all give Knight starters were inside the top 20.

“Obviously it’s great to get another win, but we made too many mistakes on Sunday,” Sieger said. “If we can clean those up, we’ll be in great shape.” The victory was the Knights’ fourth of the season and second straight of the spring.

The Knights wrap their regular season next weekend, hosting the 12-team Carleton Spring Invitational at Bellwood Oaks Golf Club in Hastings, Minn. Tee times begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. on Sunday.

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