After three straight years of top five conference finishes, Albion native and former Boone Central standout Amy Ahlers finally reached the pinnacle Tuesday, May 2.
The Concordia University senior captured the Great Plains Athletic Conference championship at Columbus’ Quail Run Golf Course – the first for the Bulldog program – and qualified for the 2017 NAIA Womens’ Golf National Championships in Florida.
Not only did Ahlers win the GPAC, she did it in dramatic fashion after trailing by as many as eight strokes Tuesday. With steady play throughout the final day, Ahlers’ final card of 83/76/77/83-319 topped Mount Marty’s Logan Wagner by nine strokes.
The victory also soothed some lingering heartache associated with Quail Run.
“The last time I actually played on this course was state golf my senior year (high school) and I did not win. It was hard. It stung a lot,” Ahlers told media following Tuesday’s play. “When it (GPAC) got moved back to Quail Run, I was like, ‘This is my second chance. This is it.’ It’s definitely a good feeling.”
In three previous seasons at Concordia, Ahlers had come close to conference titles, placing fourth as a freshman, second as a sophomore and third as a junior.
“I just knew I had to be aggressive and go for it. Playing safe wasn’t going to work any longer,” she told reporters. “I’ve been hoping this would happen for so long.”
Ahlers has finished her final classes at Concordia, but she will extend her collegiate golfing career for several more weeks. The NAIA Womens’ Championships will be held at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, May 23-26.
“I’m just really proud of Amy,” said Concordia Coach Brett Muller. “She’s really just everything you want a Concordia student-athlete to be.”
Further details in the May 10 print edition of the Albion News