ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -
A final-round score of 296 and a top-10 finish from sophomore Elizabeth Tong propelled the Indiana women's golf team to a seventh-place finish at the 17-team Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational at the UNM Championship Golf Course in Albuquerque, N.M.
The Hoosiers finished the 54-hole event with a score of 896 (293-307-296). Iowa State (886) took a one-stroke victory over UC Davis, UNLV and Ohio State. Northwestern rounded out the top five with a score of 893.
"I am pleased with how we played," said head coach Clint Wallman. "We had a good round going; at one point we were just a couple of shots off lead. We showed we can compete with anyone.
"I am really excited about the play of Elizabeth. She was really solid and today's round was big time. Now we are looking forward to getting back and working on things in preparation for our next tournament.
Tong posted a season-best 3-under 70 on Tuesday to finish tied for sixth overall with a score of 219 (77-72-70). The sophomore had just one bogey on the day to go along with birdies on holes one, 10, 15 and 16. For the tournament Tong tallied at least one birdie on 11 of the 18 holes.
Junior Kate Coons tied for 32nd with a 226, including a 4-over 77 in the final round (71-78-77). Coons posted three or more birdies in the round for the second time in the tournament, going one under on the par-5 first hole, par-5 ninth hole and par-5 14th hole.
Competing in her first major collegiate tournament, freshman Marissa DeCola held her own, placing tied for 35th with rounds of 72-77-79 (228). DeCola's 79 on Tuesday was highlighted by birdies on the par-4 seventh hole and par-5 ninth hole.
Graduate student Kristen Schelling finished one stroke behind DeCola, posting a 2-over 75 in the final round for a score of 229 (73-81-75) and finishing tied for 39th. Schelling was 2-over par through the first 11 holes, but climbed back to even with a birdie on the par-5 first hole and par-3 third hole. She ended the round with bogeys on five and seven.
Senior Pamela Burneski saved her best round of the tournament for Tuesday, tallying a 1-over 74 to finish tied for 43rd (77-80-74/231). Burneski started strong, carding birdies on 11 and 18 to sit at -2 through 10 holes. She was still at -2 through 13 holes but hit a stumbling block with bogeys on four and five, and a double bogey on six to drop to +2. After a par on hole seven she ended the round with her third birdie of the day on the par-3 eighth hole.
Indiana returns to the course on Oct. 1-2 at the Johnie Imes Invitational in Columbia, Mo.