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Buffs Take Second At Minnesota Invitational

Sep 16, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS – The University of Colorado women’s golf team posted the best team score in the final round on Tuesday while sophomore Esther Lee had the only under-par round in the field, propelling the Buffaloes to a second place finish at the Minnesota Invitational hosted by the University of Minnesota at the 6,119-yard, par 72 Minikahda Club.

The Buffs tied a school record with four players (Brittany Fan, Alexis Keating, Lee and Jamie Oleksiew) finishing in the top 15 and was the only team to accomplish such a feat in the tournament. Fan, Lee and Oleksiew recorded three of the top six scores of the final round and the same trio also jumped at least 10 spots from the second to third round. No other player in the top 15 climbed more than five spots on the final day.

“We started out a lot better today than yesterday,” said Colorado head coach Anne Kelly. “We played solid golf and made up a lot of ground. I am really proud of the team. We’re just beginning to scratch the surface of how good this team can be."

East Carolina won the event with an 879, or 15-over par. The Buffs recorded a 54-hole total of 900, or 36-over par to take second place. Kansas was five shots behind Colorado at 41-over par. GRU Augusta (907) fell one spot to finish in a fourth place tie with Texas.

Tuesday’s second place finish marked the first time the Buffs finished in the top three in back-to-back tournaments since the 2011-12 season when they won consecutive events at the Clover Cup and Anuenue Spring Break Challenge.  

Lee, the sophomore transfer from Duke pared her first seven holes to begin the day. After going 1-over with a bogey on the next hole, she followed it up with her first eagle of the year on a par-5 to go 1-under. Lee remained under par the rest of the afternoon carding a 1-under 71 and recording the Buffs’ best final round score. She finished with a 75-76-71–222, or 6-over par for the tournament and placed eighth.

“Esther played very well for us today,” said Kelly. “She probably has one of the best short games that I have seen in college and her pitching and chipping is excellent.”

Keating, who was playing under the weather for a second straight day recorded two birdies in her final round. She carded a 5-over 77. Keating started out even par through her first three holes and then bogeyed three of the next four holes to put her at 3-over par. The CU junior rebounded with a birdie two holes later. She posted a 10-over 216 in the event and finished tied for 14th overall.

Oleksiew picked up right where she left off, matching her second round score with a 1-over par 73. She bogeyed her second hole, but settled down going even-par over her next six holes. The junior from Vancouver, British Columbia posted a 10-over par 226 and moved up 11 spots from Monday to record her best finish of the season, tied for 14th.

Fan posted her best round of her collegiate career going 1-over par 73 and carded a 78-75-73–226 over the two-day tournament. She bogeyed back-to-back holes early in the round, but was solid the rest of the day and drained two birdies. Similar to Oleksiew, Fan climbed 11 spots from the second to third round and also finished tied for 14th place.

Sophomore Natalie Vivaldi finished tied for 67th with a 27-over par 243. She bogeyed her first hole of the day, but turned around and birdied the next hole to put her back at even par. Vivaldi struggled to close out her round recording three bogeys and a double bogey in her final four holes. Although her last few holes were tough, she posted her best score of the tournament with a 7-over 79, improving her mark by two strokes from the second round.

Redshirt freshman Tori Glenn, playing individually for the Buffs also finished tied for 67th with an 81-80-82–243. She had a fast start to her day, recording her first career eagle on her first hole. Glenn carded a 10-over par 82 in the final round.

The Buffs travel to Vail, Colo. next week for the Golfweek Challenge that takes place Sept. 22-24.

BUFFALO INDIVIDUALS

Rank

Team

Score

T8.

Esther Lee

75-76-71–222

T14.

Alexis Keating

76-73-77–226

T14.

Jamie Oleksiew

80-73-73–226

T14.

Brittany Fan

78-75-73–226

T67.

Natalie Vivaldi

83-81-79–243

T67.

Tori Glenn

81-80-82-243

TOP 5 INDIVIDUALS

Rank

Team

Score

1.

F. Gustafsson Spang, East Carolina

69-66-72–207

2.

Anna Laorr, Minnesota

70-71-74–215

T3.

Martina Edberg, CSU Fullerton

74-72-74–220

T3.

Sabrine Garrison, Minnesota

70-74-76–220

T3.

Bertine Strauss, Texas

70-76-74–220

TEAM SCORES

Rank

Team

Score

1.

East Carolina

294-287-298–879

2.

COLORADO

309-297-294-900

3.

Kansas

302-303-300–905

T4.

GRU Augusta

300-301-306–907

T4.

Texas

305-301-301–907

6.

Purdue

308-292-310–910

7.

Minnesota

311-299-302–912

8.

Kent State

301-307-306–914

9.

SMU

307-305-306–918

10.

Illinois

319-293-308–920

11.

Fresno State

311-313-300–924

12.

Nebraska

312-309-308–929

13.

CSU Fullerton

309-308-314-931

14.

Texas State

314-299-319–932