Former Milton High School golfer and current University of Wisconsin-Whitewater golfer CheyAnn Knudsen tied the Warhawks’ lowest round in program history with a 73 at the NCAA Division III Championships on Friday, May 17, in Houston, Texas.
The 73 powered Knudsen (81-78-83-73) to a 34th individual finish at the championships that featured a 125-player field.
“Having some records with my team at Whitewater is awesome, but to have an individual record, or a tie for the record, it just makes me feel good and makes me feel like my hard work has paid off,” said Knudsen, who is a junior.
The 73 was a 10-stroke improvement from Knudsen’s 83 in the third round.
“She was over analyzing that third day,” Warhawk head coach and former Milton High School head golf coach Andrea Wieland said. “She came to my hotel room that night and said, ‘I think I need to make some swing changes.’ I said, ‘CheyAnn you just need to stop thinking and play.’”
“I just went out and played,” Knudsen said regarding her historic round. “I didn’t think about numbers at all. I didn’t think about trying to get birdies, anything. I just went up and hit the ball.”
The 73 put Knudsen with a total of 315 in the four-day tournament, the best score of any Warhawk.
“I said after the round, ‘do you want to go change your swing now?’ She [Knudsen] just laughed,” Wieland said.
Knudsen’s 315 helped UW-Whitewater (1,234) finish 13th at the national tournament.
Knudsen and Wieland were not the only former Red Hawks in Houston. Milton High School graduate and senior Maddie McCue also golfed for UW-Whitewater at the championships.
“I’ve coached her for a long time,” said Wieland, who also coached McCue in Milton. “I purposely made sure I was at the 18th with her, so I could walk up the fairway with her.”
“She had a great career in general,” Wieland added.
McCue (87-79-81-86) fired a score of 333 over the four days, including a 79 in the second round. The 333 placed her 68th in the field.
“Maddie and I have golfed in a total of six years together, which is a long time. It’s sad to see her go because she’s always been my role model. When I was a freshman in high school she pretty much took me under her wing and I got to play with her for three years,” Knudsen said.
Knudsen, McCue and Wieland brought Milton home a fifth-place finish at the WIAA Division 1 State Tournament in 2014.
“It’s bittersweet because I love Maddie to death, we had a really good relationship, became best friends because of golf,” Knudsen said. “I’m going to miss her.”
Knudsen is set to return to the Warhawks next year for her senior season. Maybe by the end of next season Knudsen will have the record all to herself.
“I think if we can just work really hard this summer to improve and get better, we’re going to be breaking more records,” Knudsen said.