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Folsom Field Events
By: CUBuffs.com
Stewart Wins; Buffs Second At Sugar Bowl
Release: February 28, 2012
By: Curtis Snyder, Associate SID
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NEW ORLEANS, La.—Sophomore Alex Stewart fired a 5-under par 67 to capture medalist honors and the No. 17 University of Colorado women’s golf team surged to finish in second place at the 2012 Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate Golf Championships here Tuesday at the English Turn Golf and Country Club. 

The Buffaloes fired a final round 2-over par 290, the third best team round of the day, to finish the 54-hole event at 16-over par 880, three strokes behind No. 13 Duke, which won with a 13-over par 877 after a final round even par 288.  Both Duke and Colorado passed No. 4 Southern California in the final round.  The Trojans were the leaders after the first two rounds and finished at 17-over par 881.  No. 2 Alabama shot a 3-under par 285, to move up to fourth with a 20-over par 884 while No. 19 Baylor rounded out the top five at 23-over par 887.  

“Don’t get me wrong, you always want to win,” CU head coach Anne Kelly said. “But this is one of, if not the, top performance in the history of our program.  We were just a few shots short.  We played extremely well and we’re getting better every time out.  It’s a credit to the girls on this team, the work and commitment they’re making to this program is outstanding and paying off right now.”

The Buffs second place performance is that much more impressive given the fact that Golfweek ranked this field as the fourth toughest in Division I this season.  The Buffs were one of nine top 20 teams in the field and after it all played out, the Buffs topped three of the top four teams in the country in No. 2 Alabama, No. 3 Auburn and No. 4 Southern California.

“It was foggy this morning,” Kelly said. “But a lot warmer and the sun actually came out, so that was nice to see.  I think they always have a breeze here but it wasn’t too much of anything.” 

The Buffs improved in each round, as the Buffs final scorecard was 297-293-290—880.  It’s the first time this season the team has improved in each of the three rounds.  As a team, the Buffs compiled 19 birdies on the day and had just two double bogeys.  

“We got better every day and that’s something we haven’t been doing,” Kelly said. “We finished with our strongest round we had a ton of birdies today and that’s a good sign.  We showed we can compete with the best teams in the country.”

Stewart got her round off to a fast start with a birdie on the Par 5 No. 2 hole.  After a run of four holes with two birdies and two bogeys, she closed out the front nine at 1-under par.  She then blistered the back nine with four birdies and five pars to shoot a 4-under 32 on the side and 5-under 67 for the round.  She finished the event at 5-under par 211 with two rounds under par. 

“The front nine I played solid, but then on the back nine, I got things going,” Stewart said. “I think the turning point was on No. 12.  I had birdied No. 11 and then hit a 30-foot birdie putt on No. 12 and then I was hitting all my putts after that. I just played really well and gave myself a ton of birdie opportunities and made them.”

She becomes just the fifth player in program history to win an event and captured the sixth medalist honor in CU history.  It’s the first since senior Jessica Wallace won the 2011 Heather Farr Memorial Invitational.  She entered the round in fifth place and eight strokes behind Oregon’s Cassy Isagawa, who was six strokes up on the entire field entering the day and shot a final round 4-over par 76, and Stewart ended up making up nine strokes on her en route to the 1-stroke victory.  

“I didn’t know I was in contention,” Stewart said. “I was eight down headed into the round and pretty much playing for second and trying to get as low as possible for the team.”   

Her 67 matches the second best performance in CU history, previously accomplished just five times in program history.  Wallace owns the record with a 66 she shot last season and she joins teammate Emily Talley, who has two of the other five 67s in school history.  

“Alex made a ton of birdies and played really, really well,” Kelly said. “She was just so steady and solid.  She was hitting the ball well and made a ton of putts.  She was definitely in the zone.”

Her 5-under par in the third round matches the third-best performance in CU history, behind 6-under performances by both Wallace (66 on a par 72) and Talley (67 on a par 73).   She is just the third CU golfer to finish 5-under par for a tournament, which is the fourth best mark in school history, as is her 54-hole total of 211.  Her two rounds under par at one tournament are the third most in CU history and she’s just the ninth golfer to record two rounds under par in a tournament, joining Talley, Wallace and sophomore Jenny Coleman, and she’s also just the sixth golfer in CU history to record a round in the 60s.  

“This was my first college win,” Stewart said. “And that was a goal of mine for the spring.  I’ll take this all in and use it for confidence and know I can compete with anybody out there.”

Stewart moved into the top 100 players in the country after her performance in the last tournament and in winning this tournament, she beat 27 players ranked higher than she is nationally, including Duke’s Lindy Duncan, the No. 2 player as ranked by Golfstat, and four others ranked in the top 20. 

Senior Emily Talley shot a final round 1-over par 73 to finish tied for 14th at 5-over par 221.  She shot 1-over on the front nine with eight pars and a bogey and then had a little more of a see-saw back nine with three pars, three birdies and three bogeys.  

Senior Jessica Wallace was 2-over par in the final round and finished tied for 21st at 7-over par 223.  Sophomore Jenny and Kristin Coleman both shot 4-over par 76 in the final round.  Jenny Coleman finished tied for 30th at 9-over par 225 while Kristin Coleman finished at 18-over 234 and in 59th place. 

Next up for the Buffaloes is a trip to Scottsdale, Ariz., in two-and-a-half weeks for the Fighting Irish Spring Invitational, hosted by Notre Dame at the Longbow Golf Club March 16-18.  After that the Buffs will travel to Maui to play in the Anuenue Spring Break Challenge on March 26-27.  After that, the Buffs have a month off before the postseason begins with the Buffs first appearance in the Pac-12 Championships, hosted by Washington State April 27-29.  

CU then plays host to the NCAA West Regional at Colorado National Golf Club in Erie May 10-12.  Should the Buffs advance past that, they will travel to Franklin, Tenn., for the NCAA Championships May 23-26.  

“Overall this week, we’ve just eliminated a lot of the mental mistakes,” Kelly said. “We’ve been talking about that over the course of the last few tournaments.  This week we eliminated mental mistakes.  You’ll miss shots and make mistakes, but keeping them to a minimum is the key for this team.”  

BUFFALOES INDIVIDUALS

1.

Alex Stewart

71-73-67—211

t-14.

Emily Talley

77-71-73—221

t-21.

Jessica Wallace

74-75-74—223

t-30.

Jenny Coleman

75-74-76—225

59.

Kristin Coleman

79-79-76—234

 

TOP 5 INDIVIDUALS

1.

Alex Stewart, Colorado

71-73-67—211

2.

Casey Isagawa, Oregon

71-65-76—212

3.

Lisa McCloskey, USC

71-71-71—213

t-4.

Lindy Duncan, Duke

73-73-69—215

t-4.

Malin Jansson, Florida State

73-72-70—215

t-4.

Kennifer Kirby, Alabama

73-74-68—215

 

TEAM STANDINGS

1.

Duke

295-294-288—877

2.

Colorado

297-293-290—880

3.

Southern California

293-292-296—881

4.

Alabama

301-298-285—884

5.

Baylor

297-294-296—887

6.

Tulane

301-300-292—893

7.

Texas A&M

300-298-298—896

t-8.

Auburn

300-300-297—897

t-8.

Oregon

294-302-301—897

10.

Florida

300-293-305—898

11.

Tulsa

299-310-300—909

12.

Florida State

301-301-308—910

13.

Kennesaw State

308-298-311—917

14.

East Carolina

313-308-301—922

15.

Mississippi

310-306-307—923

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