Golfers Head To Pac-12 Championships
BOULDER — The University of Colorado women's golf team is set to compete at the Pac-12 Conference Women's Golf Championships, April 23-25, in Stanford, Calif.
Stanford University will host the 54-hole championship at the 6,269-yard, par 71 Stanford Golf Course. Teams from 11 of the 12 conference schools will be at the event, as Utah does not have a team.
While the Buffs have not competed at this course during the 2021 spring season, senior Kirsty Hodgkins, who is playing in her final Pac-12 Championship, has played this course before. As a freshman, she played a couple of tournaments there. Although she is the only current team member with course experience, her coaches, head coach Anne Kelly and associate head coach Brent Franklin, have taken teams here many times and have a lot of familiarity with it.
According to Kelly, "It's a course where you really have to drive the ball well."
This is Hodgkins' fourth time playing at the Pac-12 Championship. One of Colorado's most accomplished student-athletes, she is the career leader in events played (140), stroke average (73.94), rounds under par (34), 54-hole scores of 220 or better (21), most top-five finishes (nine) and is tied for the most career rounds in the 60s (11). She will graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering and has maintained a GPA over 3.20.
The Brisbane, Australia, native, enters the championship with a 74.94 stroke average this season and has recorded one top-10 finish, which came at the Arizona State Winter Classic, Feb. 15-17 as she took 10th.
"She has given it her all for four and a half years now," Kelly said. "Senior year is hard no matter what because all of a sudden the reality of life is right in your face. There is the pressure of trying to find your job and what you are going to do in your future and all of that, but I really hope she can put that all aside and focus on her golf. To see her finish a great career on the right note would be the ideal situation."
Junior Malak Bouraeda has had her best season this spring and leads the Buffs with a 73.89 stroke average. She has recorded four top-20 finishes this season, which includes one top-five performance.
"Honestly she hasn't played her best either," Kelly said. "She is a really good player and honestly I feel like all of them are about ready to take off. I think Malak is really close. She has worked really hard and the time and effort she has put in her game and the attention she pays to every detail is really impressive. I think all of that hard work is going to pay off and I hope that it's going to pay off at the Pac-12 Championship, but again she is putting in time and effort and is really doing all the right things."
Kelly can see the potential in her team and knows that although this season has not always gone the way they wanted, her team is close to breaking through.
"Ellie Gower is about ready to bust out," she said. "Hailey Schalk is close. Alisha (Lau) has worked hard between the Silverado and this event on her swing, so we'll see what happens. My hope is for the whole team to go out and play a good tournament and play how we are capable."
A practice round will take place on Thursday, April 22 at 8:30 a.m. PT before the tournament begins on Friday morning. Tee times begin on Friday and Saturday at 8:30 a.m. and Sunday's start will be at 8 a.m. PT. CU will tee off on Friday at 9:30 a.m. PT from No. 10 and has been paired with Stanford and UCLA.
Live results will be available at GolfStat.com. Following the championship, there will be a 30-minute special on Pac-12 Network recapping the tournament on April 26.