The Alabama women’s golf team of Coach Mic Potter was ranked first in the nation and coming off a victory over UCLA for a tournament championship when the Crimson Tide headed West this weekend to face a star-studded field in the PING/ASU Invitational in Tempe, Ariz.
Alabama played well, but not well enough to defeat third-ranked UCLA, which ran away with the tournament, or the host team, 11th-ranked Arizona State, and the Crimson Tide’s 5-under-par effort was good enough only for third.
The tournament was the last of regular season play. This weekend the Crimson Tide will be in Birmingham for the Southeastern Conference Championship Tournament at the Greystone Golf & Country Club Legacy Course, Friday-Sunday.
Bama had its best score of the tournament on Sunday, a 3-under 285 over the 6,337-yard, par-72 Karsten Golf Course. Bama finished the 54-hole tournament at 859, seven shots behind UCLA (852) and a stroke back of Arizona State (858).
As was the case on Saturday, freshman Cheyenne Knight was steady throughout the round. She recorded a par on the first 12 holes before consecutive birdies on 13 and 14. Knight ended the day with a 2-under 70 to finish with an overall total of 212 (-4). That earned her a tie for fourth individually, her fourth top-10 finish of her rookie season.
Senior Janie Jackson also fired a 2-under 70 on Sunday after struggling through the first two rounds of the tournament. Her day got off to an outstanding start, as she eagled the par-5 fifth. Jackson ended up tied for 29th with a 6-over 222. Fellow senior Emma Talley recorded an even-par 72 to close out the weekend in sixth place at 215 (-1), also the fourth time this season she has finished inside the top 10 individually.
Sophomore Nicole Morales was 1-over (73) for her final round behind an effort that included 15 pars. That gave her a 54-hole total of 219 (+3), which allowed her to tie for 14th, the best finish of her career. Sophomore Lakareber Abe suffered a stretch of three bogeys over four holes to turn in a round of 74 (+2). However, Abe still took seventh on the individual leaderboard with a 1-over 217, which, like Knight and Talley, gave her a top-10 finish for the fourth time on the season.
Junior Cammie Gray, who competed as an individual for the weekend, came up with her best round of golf on Sunday. Gray shot a 1-over 73 and ended up with an overall score of 227 (+11) to tie for 50th.
The Bruins led wire-to-wire for the team victory in Tempe. Their three-day total of 852 (-12) was six strokes better than the second-place Sun Devils (858). UCLA also saw Bronte Law and Lilia Vu claim first and second, respectively, on the individual leaderboard.