Golf: Austin’s Wagner wins national title

Published 10:36 pm Friday, May 11, 2012

Austin grad Catherine Wagner took home the Divison III National Title in women's golf Friday. -- UW Eau Claire Photography

ANGOLA, IND. — Austin grad Catherine Wagner knows what it’s like to finish in second place in the biggest golf meet of the year, and she wasn’t going to let it happen to her again.

Wagner, who is now a junior at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, won the Division III national championship with a four-day score of 302 that stood atop the 101-golfer field at Zollner Golf Course Friday.

Austin grad Catherine Wagner won a Divison III National golf title for University of Wisconsin Eau Claire Friday. -- UW Eau Claire Photography

Wagner, who finished second in the Class ‘AA’ Minnesota golf state meet as a junior at AHS, came into the tournament ranked No. 10 in the country and she jumped out to the lead on the first day.

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“It was in the back of my head that I could win it, but it’s one of those things you can’t think about too much or it’ll get the best of you,” Wagner said. “I played four really good rounds and I’m proud of myself for that.”

While she led throughout, the day was not without its drama for Wagner as she was playing with one of the three other golfers in the field who finished one stroke behind her.

“It was neck and neck the whole day,” Wagner said. “I tried to take it shot by shot, but I knew how both of us were doing so it was hard to not think about where she was. It was kind of nerve racking.”

Wagner tied for 14th in nationals as a freshman at UW-EC and she tied for ninth as a junior. While golfing for Austin, Wagner was a three-time state qualifier, as she took second her junior year and eighth her senior year.

“When I took second in high school, I thought I’d won it, so this is the icing on the cake. I’ve also got another year left and it should be a lot of fun,” said Wagner, who is the first ever national champion for the Blugolds. “We’ve had a good golf team for years and it’s awesome that one of us will finally come back as a national champ.”

The Blugolds, who were ranked No. 6 in the nation, finished in third place.