Buffs Finish Tied For Fifth At Barbara Nicklaus Cup
DUBLIN, Ohio — The University of Colorado placed three golfers in the top 20 and tied for fifth overall as the Barbara Nicklaus Cup wrapped up at the daunting Muirfield Village Golf Club on Tuesday.
The Buffaloes finished with a 54-hole total of 971, tying with Notre Dame for the fifth spot. Tulsa won the team title at 952 thanks to the best team round of the day at 32-over-par, 320. Maryland was second (959), followed by TCU (961) and Furman (967).
Senior Issy Simpson and sophomores Natalie Vo and Lauren Gooding each navigated their way to top 20 finishes. Vo had Colorado's low 54-hole score at 26-over, 242 to tie for 14th. Gooding tied for 17th one stroke back at 27-over, 243, while Simpson tied for 19th at 29-over, 245.
The top 20 finishes were career firsts for Vo and Simpson.
"The team hung in there and fought hard," Colorado head coach Anne Kelly said. "It's a very difficult course and one mistake becomes highly magnified."
The tough Muirfield Village Golf Club proved itself even tougher Tuesday. Home to The Memorial Tournament on the PGA Tour, the 6,362-yard par 72 course had its way with all 40 golfers in the Barbara Nicklaus Cup field.
Muirfield played to an average score of 83, 11-over-par, in the third round. Only seven players shot in the 70s on Tuesday with a 75 from Patricie Mackova of Maryland serving as the low round of the day on her way to a sixth-place finish.
A round of 80 for TCU's Sofia Barroso Sa was good enough to clinch medalist honors at 13-over, 229.
"After our practice round (Sunday) we talked as a team and said that par (here) is really 76 or 77," Kelly said. "We knew it was going to be difficult, and it was a real challenge.
"It's a very nice event. Mrs. Nicklaus spoke to the young women (at dinner on Sunday) and was the starter (on Monday). It's just a fantastic tournament; it's very well done, but this course was so hard. The hardest course I've seen in my career in golf."
Simpson, playing in her first tournament of the season, claimed one of those rounds in the 70s with the Buffaloes' low score of the day at 7-over, 79. Beginning at No. 13 with the shotgun start, Simpson was 2-over through three, but birdied the 158-yard, par 3, No. 16 to move to 1-over.
Simpson closed the back side with consecutive bogeys to drop to 3-over, but steadied herself on the front, making par on six of the first seven holes. Simpson dropped four shots between No. 8-10, but ended on a good note with a birdie at the 150-yard, par 3, No. 12.
"Issy was our bright spot today," Kelly said. "She played a very good round today and managed the course quite well."
Gooding solidified her second top 20 finish in three fall tournaments shooting 8-over, 80, in the third round. Gooding had 11 pars during her round and made birdie at the 470-yard, par 5, No. 15.
Vo was able to hang on to Colorado's low 54-hole score despite having the team's high round of the day at 14-over, 86. Her 73 in Monday's second round held up as the third-best single round in the tournament field.
Graduate senior Haylin Harris tied for 22nd overall at 31-over, 247. Freshman Morgan Miller tied for 33rd at 40-over, 256. Both shot 13-over, 85, in the third round.
Colorado will resume its fall schedule at the Jim West Challenge, scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 23 and Monday, Oct. 24, at the Kissing Tree Golf Club in San Marcos, Texas.
|TOP 5 INDIVIDUALS|
|1.||Sofia Barroso Sa, TCU||77-72-80—229|
|T2.||Nicha Kanpai, Maryland||75-80-76—231|
|T2.||Sarah-Eve Rheaume, Furman||75-80-76—231|
|T2.||Grace Kilcrease, Tulsa||77-78-76—231|
|5.||Lauren Beaudreau, Notre Dame||72-75-86—233|