Second-place finish for women’s golf shows drastic improvement

Natalie Petersen drives at an event earlier this season. At Wofford, Petersen placed second overall and led the Eagles to a second-place team finish.

Thomas Jilk

The Georgia Southern women’s golf team played their best event of the season as they finished second out of of 11 teams at Wofford’s Terrier Intercollegiate.

Previously, the team hadn’t finished better than third-to-last at any of the first three events of the season.

Natalie Petersen, a GS freshman from Holly Springs, N.C., tied for second overall individually, posting a 1-under-par 71 in round one and a 1-over-par 73 in round two. Petersen finished 18th in the last tournament for the Eagles, and at Wofford she showed she can swing with some of the finest golfers in the country.

GS junior Ansley Bowman tied for 12th place overall, and sophomore Ella Ofstedahl tied for 15th after leading the Eagles with an even par second round. Both Ofstedahl and Petersen notched four birdies on day two. Overall, the five Eagles holed 22 birdies during the two-day event.

High Point University (+16) won the event by eight strokes over GS (+24) and third-place Presbyterian College (+29).

The women’s golf program at GS was born in 2014 after more women’s scholarships were required for Title IX compliance after the football team gained roster spots due to the move up to FBS play. In just its third year, the program is showing it can compete consistently and recruit and develop some standout college golfers.

Coach Emily Kuhfield has led the program since its inception, and the team lost its two top golfers from last season, making this result all the more impressive.

The next event for the Eagles – and the final one of the fall season – will be the Idle Hour Classic, hosted by Mercer, which begins Oct. 30 and ends on Oct. 31.