The Alabama women’s golf team shot itself out of the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship in the first two rounds, particularly since one round of stroke play was canceled due to the poor weather conditions in Sugar Grove, Ill. But at least the Crimson Tide closed out its season with an exceptional finishing round.
Alabama shot a one-under-par 287 on Monday over the 6,343-yard, par-72 Rich Harvest Farms course. It was the only under-par round by any team in the tournament.
Unfortunately, it was good enough only to put Bama at 64-over-par (328-313-287/928) and tie California for 14th place. Only the top eight teams from stroke play advance to the match play segment of the tournament to play for the championship.
“The conditions were softer, not as windy early and the set-up was a lot better today so you could get a wedge in your hand instead of a hybrid going into some of these greens,” Alabama Coach Mic Potter said. “I don’t know if we hit the ball differently but we managed it better.
“The takeaway from this season has to be that at the end of the year we’re going to have to play a golf course like this so we have to prepare for that. We’ve got to be able to stand out there and hit it exactly where we want to when we want to. Our goal is to win a championship and we didn’t give ourselves a chance to do that.”
Sophomore Cheyenne Knight (78-76-69/223) tied for 10th at seven-over par to finish as the Tide’s low scorer at the NCAA Championships for the second year in a row. Her final round 69 was her team-leading 11th of the season. Freshman Kristen Gillman (78-78-70/226) tied for 17th at 10-over par after a two-under par final round. The scores by Knight and Gillman marked the 10th consecutive year Alabama has had at least one golfer finish in the top-25 at the NCAA Championships.
Sophomore Lauren Stephenson (85-75-76/236) tied for 74th at 20-over par. Senior Mia Landegren (89-84-72/245) tied for 113th at 29-over par. Junior Lakareber Abe (87-84-76/247) tied for 119th place at 31-over par.
Northwestern (301-298-298/897) finished first at 33-over par. Stanford (311-298-296/905) was second at 41-over par. Arizona State (311-309-289) finished third at 45-over par. Ohio State (311-299-303/913) was fourth at 49-over par. Florida (320-302-292/914) and USC (315-303-296/914) tied for fifth at 50-over par.
Those six teams along with seventh-place Baylor (311-300-306/917) and eighth-place Kent State (303-304-312/919) will advance to Tuesday’s match-play quarterfinals with the national champion being determined in Wednesday’s championship match.
Monica Vaughn of Arizona State (74-72-71/217) won individual medalist honors, finishing at one-over par, one shot ahead of Leona Maguire of Duke and Jennifer Kupcho of Wake Forest.