The safe and steady approach to golf did great things for the Southwest Minnesota State women's golf team on Monday.
In Day 2 of the Central Region Championship, the Mustangs jumped from seventh place to fourth, and are within 12 strokes from securing a spot in the national tournament with 18 holes to go in the Central Region tournament in Elephant Butte, N.M.
Shooting 340 on Sunday, SMSU made an 11-stroke improvement on Monday, tying first-place Colorado-Mesa with the best score of the day (329).
"This course has a lot of trouble out there, and playing in the regional tournament, the biggest thing we stressed is we need to play average golf for two days and have one good day to make a move," said Mustangs head coach Ross Webskowski. "Our girls battled and it's exciting to be in that position after the second day."
Leading SMSU in Day 2 was Krista Weiszhaar, who recovered from her Day 1 score of 84 to shoot a 77 on Monday, which tied with Winona State's Paige Schmidt for Monday's best round. Currently, Weiszhaar is tied for sixth place overall.
KC Kane carded an 81 and is tied for 13th with a two-day score of 165. Rachel Patnoe fell down the standings on Monday with an 89, sitting with a total score of 171.
With just 12 strokes separating SMSU from third-place Western New Mexico, Webskowski hopes that the safe approach at Sierra del Rio Golf Club can get his team to continue to climb the standings.
"We've stayed with our game plan to keep it short, keep it in the fairway, put it around the green and battle that way," Webskowski said. "The way this course is, if things get rolling, you can throw down a huge number. Every hole has an opportunity to throw up nines or tens. We just have to keep playing the course and playing it short."
NCAA Central Region Championship (Day 2)
Team Results: 1. Colorado-Mesa 642; 2. Augustana 646; 3. Western New Mexico 657; 4. Southwest Minnesota State 669; 5. Winona State 675; 6. Minnesota State-Mankato 679; 7. Colorado State-Pueblo 704; 8. Concordia-St. Paul 708; 9. Adams State 712.
SMSU Individual Results: Krista Weiszhaar 161; KC Kane 165; Rachel Patnoe 171; Marissa Campeau 176; Abby Gruber 178.