FORT COLLINS, Colo.-Junior Emily Talley matched a school record and finished second individually and the University of Colorado women's golf team won the fifth tournament in its history Tuesday, coming out on top at the 2010 Ptarmigan Ram Fall Classic here at the Ptarmigan Country Club.
It's the Buffs first team win since the 2008 Texas State Challenge at Wolfdancer. The Buffs team total of 1-over par 852 is the second best in school history behind a 12-under par at the Ptarmigan in 2008. Talley shot a 2-under par 70 Tuesday, giving her a 7-under par 209, matching the school record both for fewest strokes and most strokes below par for a tournament.
Colorado and California were battling it the entire final round as the Buffs held a one-shot lead over the Bears entering the day. CU shot a field best 1-under par 287 in the final round to finish 1-over par 864. Cal shot even par and finished 3-over par 867. Oregon took third, five strokes behind California at 872, while Louisville (873) and Baylor (874) round out the top five with two strokes separating third through fifth. Host Colorado State started the third round in the lead but shot a 14-over par to finish sixth at 13-over par 877.
This marks the second time the Buffs won the Ptarmigan, the first coming in 2006. Along with the Texas State Challenger, CU has also won each of its own tournaments once, the MountainView Collegiate in 2001 and the Heather Farr Memorial in 2007.
"I knew it was going to be close," CU coach Anne Kelly said. "I wanted a win, but I was happier with the heart we showed. We weren't nervous; we just gutted it out and got the win. It's a great start to the season."
"We knew it was really close between us and Cal," junior Jess Wallace added. "We weren't sure the exact score because we knew some of the scores were wrong on-line, so we didn't know until coach told us, so it was intense for a little bit there."
Kelly didn't know the on-line scores were off, but she had a feeling the Buffs were going to win when assistant coach Brent Franklin told her that sophomore Taylor Doyle birdied her last hole.
"I was on 18 watching Talley and Jess finish up," Kelly said. "I knew then we had a pretty good shot. It's just hard when everybody finishes at the same time to know exactly where you stand."
More than the irony of the team battling the same two opponents the football team did to open its season, Talley said, "A lot of our team comes from California, and here you are playing against a big school from your home, that's exciting."
Talley finished second, two strokes behind Idaho's Kayla Mortellaro. Talley was at 4-under par through 14 holes and then got back-to-back bogies on 15 and 16 before paring 17 and 18 to secure second place.
"Getting second place is pretty fun," Talley said. "I was 4-under until the four holes coming in. I've never been that close in contention so I was a little nervous. But I pared my last two holes, and I didn't give myself the easiest pars, but I was able to hold on, so that was good."
Talley became just the second player in school history to go under par in all three rounds of a tournament and now has 12 career rounds under par, tying the school record. She continues her streak of top 20 finishes to seven, which is also a new school record. She recorded an eagle on the par-4 third hole in the final round, hitting the ball straight into the cup from 128-yards out.
"The eagle was my third hole of the day," Talley said. "I just thought, 'I need to hit the middle of the green,' I aimed at the middle of the green because I knew it would draw in but it landed in the hole.
"I've never done that before," Talley continued. "I've holed out, the ball will land on the green and roll in. This time, it landed in the hole. Straight in. It hit the side of the cup, it took out a piece of the cup. I think it hit the cup, then the pin and then in."
"I was standing on the par 3 nearby and I saw a shot coming at the flag," Kelly said. "I was thinking 'This looks really good.' Then I saw the pin rattling around and then Emily was dancing around, it was really exciting."
Talley, Wallace and Doyle each shot a 2-under par 70 on the day. For the tournament, CU posted seven subpar rounds, a new school record.
Wallace recorded two subpar rounds after shooting 4-over in the first round, including one triple bogey. Other than that hole, she was 2-under for the tournament. She finished tied for 13th with a 1-over par 217.
"My ball-striking was solid all week," Wallace said. "I just wasn't putting very well, so I threw a few shots away on the green in each round. It's a good starting point, I'm looking forward on honing in on a few things that need some work and getting ready for the next tournament."
Doyle not only matched Talley and Wallace's third round 2-under par total, she also matched Wallace's three round total of 217 and finished tied for 13th.
Freshmen Jenny and Kristin Coleman both posted 5-over par 77's on the day. Kristin finished tied for 28th with a 6-over par 222 while Jenny finished at 21-over par and tied for 78th.
"I'm excited about our depth," Talley said. "Those freshmen are just getting their feet wet. Kristin was well under par at one point in the first round. They will learn the basics of college golf and playing on a team. You need pars and bogeys instead of doubles and triples. You have to learn that over time."
"This is the most depth we've had," Kelly said. "The thing about it is, we played well, but I know Jenny and Kristin are capable of posting lower scores. It was their first tournament of their first year. They're just getting their feet wet, there is tremendous upside there."
The Buffs also had three players in the tournament individually. Meaghan Kari finished tied for 81st with a three day total of 259, while Devin Dougherty finished tied for 83rd with a 242 and Jamie Befort 88th with a 245.
The Buffs have a short week, as they will next travel down I-25 to Albuquerque, N.M., for the Branch Law Firm Dick McGuire Invitational, hosted by New Mexico. The Buffs get to Albuquerque on Thursday with the first two rounds set for Friday and the third round Saturday.
"We have an opportunity to build on this right away," Kelly said. "It's going to be a quick turnaround, I know we're tired and have school work to do, we turn around and leave Thursday morning for a practice round. It's just how the schedule fell."
2. Emily Talley....... 69-70-70-209
t-13. Taylor Doyle....... 72-75-70-217
t-13. Jessica Wallace.... 76-71-70-217
t-27. Kristin Coleman.... 71-74-77-222
t-77. Jenny Coleman...... 80-80-77-237
t-81. *Meaghan Kari...... 79-80-80-239
t-83. *Devin Dougherty... 79-84-79-242
t-88. *Jamie Befort...... 79-83-83-245
*-played as an individual.
TOP FIVE INDIVIDUALS
1. Kayla Mortellaro, Idaho....... 70-67-70-207
2. Emily Talley, Colorado........ 69-70-70-209
3. Pia Halbig, California........ 71-70-70-211
t-4. Kimbely Kaufman, Texas Tech... 67-72-73-213
t-4. Jaclyn Jansen, Baylor......... 69-74-70-213
1. Colorado............ 288-290-287-865
2. California.......... 294-285-288-867
3. Oregon.............. 291-294-290-872
4. Louisville.......... 294-291-288-873
5. Baylor.............. 282-299-293-874
6. Colorado State...... 290-285-302-877
7. New Mexico.......... 291-295-294-880
8. Long Beach State.... 292-299-293-884
9. Fresno State........ 292-303-294-889
10. Illinois............ 300-285-306-891
11. San Jose State...... 304-296-297-897
12. New Mexico State.... 306-293-301-900
13. Texas Tech.......... 304-295-305-904
14. Texas-El Paso....... 304-309-298-911
15. Wyoming............. 308-299-305-912
16. Idaho............... 301-308-310-919
17. Northern Colorado... 325-307-308-940