The Alabama women’s golf season has come to an end with a tie for 12th place in the NCAA Tournament. The Crimson Tide got off to a poor start on the first two days of the tournament and Bama was unable to make up enough ground to reach the top eight – the teams that will play match play for the championship beginning Tuesday.
Alabama finished the tournament with a 1174 (300-292-291-291) to tie with Arkansas. Bama was eight strokes out of the eighth spot over the 6,331-yard, par-72 Eugene (Oregon) Country Club course.
The finish extends the Tide’s streak of consecutive top 15 finishes at the NCAA Championships to nine, dating back to 2008. The 1,174 score is the fourth-lowest 72-hole total in school history.
“I thought the hole locations were pretty accessible today, we just didn’t hit enough good shots to them,” Coach Mic Potter said following the round. “They were in locations you could get to but if you were off a little bit there was a lot of break in them. We had a hard time making birdies today. This group has been a lot of fun, especially in the spring. They’re very competitive and we had a great year winning the SEC and being ranked No. 1 when a lot of people weren’t expecting that out of us.”
Pac-12 teams are dominating the tournament with UCLA, Stanford, Southern Cal, and Washington finishing in the top four places in medal play and Oregon joining the group at eighth. Virginia is fifth, Duke sixth, and South Carolina seventh.
Alabama freshman Cheyenne Knight was in contention for individual honors for the first three rounds and finished tied for fourth overall. She had a final round 73 to finish at 6-under 282 (69-69-71-73), but was unable to challenge Duke’s Virginia Elena Carta, a runaway winner at 16-under-par.
Knight set a school record for best 72-hole performance with her finish, besting the old mark of 284 set by Jennifer Kirby at the 2010 NCAA Championships. Knight was seeking to become Alabama’s second individual medalist in school history. Senior Emma Talley was the low individual at the 2015 NCAA championships in Bradenton, Fla.
“I didn’t give myself any chances for birdies today but I feel like I had a really good week, finishing in the top 10 in my first national championship,” Knight said. “This was a learning experience but there’s definitely a lot to build on after this. After yesterday I felt like we were capable of a good round but today didn’t go our way. It’s been a great year though.”
Senior Janie Jackson had Alabama’s best round of the day, a 2-under-par 70, for 294, and fellow senior Emma Talley was at 297 (77-73-73-74). Lakareber Abe was at 300 (78-74-74-74) and Nicole Morale 314 (78-81-79-76).
The Crimson Tide was Southeastern Conference champion and ranked No. 1 in the nation for much of the season.