May 21, 2010
WILMINGTON, N.C. – The University of Alabama women's golf team produced the school’s best NCAA Championships finish with a third-place showing after a 2-under-par round of 286 in Friday’s final round on the par-72, 6,368-yard Dye Course at the Country Club of the Landfall.
The Crimson Tide produced a 72-hole total of 5-over-par 1,157, which is 50 strokes better than the previous best NCAA Championships total – a 1,207 in 1987 when Alabama finished ninth. Friday’s 286 was the lowest of any team in the final round.
“I am very proud of this team,” Alabama head coach Mic Potter said. “I think if anybody would have asked us coming into this tournament if they could give us third place, I think we would have had to take it. It is also hard when you get near the lead and have a chance and don’t do it. We played well, let’s be honest.”
Purdue captured the school’s first national championship, finishing at 1-over-par 1,153. The Boilermakers finished one shot better than Southern California (1,154) and four shots better than the Crimson Tide. Arizona State finished fourth, Arizona was fifth, UCLA sixth and Vanderbilt seventh. Oklahoma State’s Caroline Hedwall won medalist honors at 12-under-par 276.
“This was a measuring stick for this program,” Potter said. “We have been to this tournament every year, but to actually come and play for something in our fifth year is pretty good. Before today we never finished better than 11th, and I think we were last our first year. This is what you play for to make it into this tournament and have a chance to win in the end.”
Alabama had three players finish in the top 15 with Jennifer Kirby tied for seventh, Brooke Pancake 12th and Camilla Lennarth tied for 13th.
Kirby turned in the best individual finish of any Crimson Tide golfer with a tie for seventh place. A tie for 12th in 1987 by Mikki Bjuro was the previous best. Kirby carded a 3-under-par 69 on Friday to post a 72-hole total of 4-under-par 284, which is also the lowest individual total score by any player in school history.
Pancake shot 1-under-par 71 in the final round to finish 1-under-par 287. She birdied the first and second hole before a double bogey on the seventh left her at even par at the turn. Pancake birdied the par-5 12th before making six consecutive pars to finish her round.
Lennarth 1-under-par round of 71 on Friday got her back to even par for the tournament. She shot even-par 36 on the opening nine holes before birdies on the 10th, 13th and 15th got her to 3-under. Bogeys at the 16th and 17th holes took her back to 1-under before just missing a birdie putt on the 18th.
Seniors Rhea Nair and Helena Blomberg both fired 3-over-par rounds of 75 to count as the Tide’s fourth score of the day. Nair finished tied for 54th at 10-over-par 298, which was her best NCAA Championships of her career. Blomberg shot 312 to finish in 112th position.