STILLWATER, Okla. – The University of Colorado women’s golf team ended the spring season here Saturday with a 16th place finish at the NCAA Central Regional. The Buffaloes shot 63-over par 927, 25 strokes out of the top eight, the positioning needed to advance to the NCAA Championships.
CU has sent its team or an individual to seven regionals in the last 12 years. The 16th place finish is the Buffs’ second-best performance at regionals. In 2012, the Buffs finished fourth at the West Regional in Erie, Colo. to advance to their first ever NCAA Championship.
The final round on an exceedingly windy day proved challenging for everyone in the 24-team field, with just two teams (UCLA and Mississippi State) shooting sub-300. UCLA, the No. 3 team according to Golfstat (5/6), held onto the lead for a commanding victory, shooting 11-over par 875. No. 9 Alabama claimed the second spot at 28-over par 892. No. 33 Mississippi State and No. 35 California were close behind at 29-over par 893 and 30-over par 894. No. 25 Ohio State and No. 40 Kansas tied for fifth with 35-over par 899s.
Also advancing to the Championships are No. 10 Arizona and No. 21 Florida (who beat host team and 16th ranked Oklahoma State on the first playoff hole to earn the final spot).
“The course showed its teeth today,” CU head coach Anne Kelly said. “Even with the top teams, it was much more difficult today. It was tough coming in to those last few holes, but a couple of the girls really hung in there. Alexis (Keating) was playing pretty solid, and Kristin and Jenny (Coleman), but then it really started blowing.”
Senior Jenny Coleman ended her collegiate career with an 8-over par 224 (72-74-78) scorecard, tying for 24th at the 6,200-yard, par-72 Karsten Golf Club. Coleman had a difficult round, making six bogeys and a double bogey. Despite those speed bumps, she did show improvement on the Nos. 13 and 16, shooting par on the holes she had bogeyed on in the first two rounds. Coleman had two birdies and nine pars in the final round, extending her program records to 331 birdies and 1,856 holes at or under par.
In her program-record fourth NCAA Regional and 47th event, Coleman had one of the best postseason performances in CU history. Tying her 18-hole regional score from 2011 and ’13 in the first round, Coleman smashed the 36-hole NCAA Regional record at CU, with her 146 three strokes less than the previous record, set by both Coleman twins in 2012. Her final scorecard ranks sixth all-time, just two strokes more than her mark from last season.
In her third regional appearance, senior Kristin Coleman tied for 51st at 15-over par 231 (76-75-80). Her scorecard is just one stroke shy of her performance in 2011. Though she had a bogey on her first hole, the 362-yard, par-4 No. 10, she had a fairly even front nine, making seven pars. She had a tougher time on the back nine, having four bogeys and a double bogey. In her career, Coleman recorded a school record 1,591 pars, having 11 in each of her rounds at regionals.
Sophomore Alexis Keating had to the Buffs’ best final round, shooting 5-over par 77 to finish 17-over par 233, tying for 66th. Keating had two birdies and nine pars on Saturday, but was set back by seven bogeys. Classmate Jamie Oleksiew completed the tournament with a 32-over par 248 (86-78-84) scorecard. Oleksiew had a tough final round, having 10 bogeys and a double bogey while making seven pars. Shooting 5-over par 77 in the first round, freshman Natalie Vivaldi shot 15-over par 87 in the third. Vivaldi had five double bogeys and four bogeys, going over par on four of her first five holes on the back nine.
Kent State’s Wad Phaewchimplee (7-under par 209) and UNLV’s Dana Finkelstein (2-under par 214) earned the top two individual spots and will advance to the NCAA Championship. Alabama’s Emma Talley also shot 2-under par 214, while Mississippi State’s Ally McDonald was the only other golfer under par at 1-under par 215. Florida’s Sarah Schober and UCLA’s Alison Lee completed the top five at 1-over par 217.
|TOP 5 INDIVIDUALS|
|1.||Wad Phaewchimplee, Kent St||65-73-71—209|
|t-2.||Dana Finkelstein, UNLV||72-70-72—214|
|t-2.||Emma Talley, Alabama||68-75-71—214|
|4.||Ally McDonald, Miss. State||73-72-70—215|
|t-5.||Sarah Schober, Florida||71-72-74—217|
|t-5.||Alison Lee, UCLA||75-71-71—217|