Haubenstock leads way as Washington-St. Louis extends lead at Golfweek Division III Fall Invitational

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Haubenstock leads way as Washington-St. Louis extends lead at Golfweek Division III Fall Invitational

Women

Haubenstock leads way as Washington-St. Louis extends lead at Golfweek Division III Fall Invitational

SCORES: MEN | WOMEN

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SANDESTIN, Fla. – Even with a counting score in the 80s on Monday, Washington-St. Louis has no peers so far at the Golfweek Division III Fall Invitational.

The Bears doubled their lead to 14 in the second round, firing a 19-over 307 (tied for the round of the day) to post at 35 over with one round to go. Huntingdon remains the closest competitor at 49 over, with Mary Hardin-Baylor and Berry in a distant tie for third at 62 over.

The key for Washington-St. Louis thus far has been a balance among its starters. Samantha Haubenstock has been the biggest force, as she sits solo second at 5 over. Erin Drolet (T-3, 7 over) is not far behind and Chloe DiPetrillo (T-7, 11 over) is still on the fringe of contention for the individual title despite a Monday 81. Gigi Garcia (T-10, 12 over) is the other player in the top 10.

Haubenstock, the reigning Women’s Golf Coaches Association Division III Freshman of the Year, led after 18 holes thanks to a 2-over 74 and only dropped a spot after a follow-up 75.

In fact, she might be leading – rather than Bridgewater’s Christina Herbert, the defending individual national champion, doing so at 3 over – if not for a strange sequence late.

The sophomore was even par for the second round when she came to the par-5 15th at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort’s Baytowne Golf Club. Her drive found the fairway bunker, not an ideal start.

Then she topped her next shot, failing to clear the trap. She blasted out from there, found a greenside bunker with her fourth, chunked one out into the rough, chipped up and two-putted for a triple-bogey 8.

How’d she deal with the sudden disaster?

“I guess just laugh it off,” Haubenstock said.

A bogey at the next followed, but a closing birdie allowed Haubenstock to remain right in the hunt with a day to go.

Frankly, the top at 15 probably wasn’t even her worst shot of the week. Haubenstock said her teammates got a good laugh when in the practice round, the sophomore shanked a 3-wood into the water on her second shot at the par-5 fifth.

Those errant balls haven’t had much of an effect. Haubenstock, who won three times as a freshman and has two top-three finishes already in 2017-18, had worked on trying to get her swing more on plane entering the proceedings in Sandestin, Fla., and clearly something has clicked.

“Standing over the ball, I feel pretty comfortable,” she said.

The Bears have already won twice this season but will be looking for their first title at the Golfweek Division III Fall Invitational since the tournament added a women’s component in 2012. (The Bears have boasted the individual winner twice, with former player Connie Zhou earning those honors in 2013 and 2014.)

Prior to the final round, the team will relax with an evening of bowling or laser tag (they hadn’t yet decided).

Haubenstock is in the Olin Business School at Washington-St. Louis and believes she’ll add on psychology for a double major.

The plan on what she’ll use all that for? It’s still a work in progress.

“To be honest, I have no idea yet,” Haubenstock said, with a laugh.

She’s got a clear plan on the golf course, though, and her focus there may lead the Bears to a dominant win.

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