By Lindsay Gaesser, SDA Media Relations
HILTON HEAD, S.C.—After a tough first two rounds of play, the fourth-ranked Arizona State women’s golf team shot a 7-over 291, securing a 12th place finish at the Third Annual Darius Rucker Intercollegiate on Sunday.
The third-ranked Duke Blue Devils took home the team championship at 10-over, with Yu Liu at the helm. After a playoff between Liu and Caroline Nistrup of LSU for the individual championship, Duke’s Liu nabbed the title with a birdie on the first playoff hole. Liu shot a three-round total of 2-under 211.
The Sun Devils shot a three-round total of 49-over 901 (311-299-291) at the par-71, 6,142-yard Long Cove Golf Club in Hilton Head, S.C.
“We did not play very smart golf,” said ASU Head Coach Melissa Luellen of the first two rounds. “We were very protective and tentative, which led to a lot of balls in the water and poor course management. We really put ourselves in a tough spot after the first round. But the second day we improved by 11 shots, which I thought was really good. And today we improved by nine more.
The fact that we were kind of at the bottom—we’re not used to being there—and battled back, made me proud,” said Luellen. “We let some go in the last few holes, but we almost got top 10 after being almost dead last. There were a lot of good teams, and the golf course was great. We did much better today, I was very proud of them.”
Defending champion Noemi Jimenez, the only ASU golfer to crack the top 10, shot a 69 in the final round, carding two birdies on the back nine. With her tournament total of 1-under 212 (71-72-69), Jimenez tied for third place overall.
“Noemi was pleased,” said Luellen of Jimenez’ third place finish. “She gave it a go; she gave it a chance. She left a lot of birdie putts out there. I think that she wanted it so bad, she may have been forcing it just a little bit. But she played beautiful golf, and anytime you shoot under par on this golf course, you’re playing great golf. Noemi has a lot to be proud of. Third place is a really good follow-up from last year’s win. I think she did a great job.”
Monica Vaughn, Saki Iida, and Emilie Alonso each shot a final round score of 3-over 74. Vaughn, who shot a three-day total of 16-over 229 (78-77-74), tied for 49th place. Iida, who carded an eagle on the par-5 15th hole, tied for 65th with a 19-over 232 (83-75-74). Alonso finished in a four-way tie for 68th, shooting a 20-over 233 (84-75-74).
Senior Justine Lee had another tough day on the course, carding seven bogeys and two double bogeys on Sunday. Lee tied for 84th with a tournament total of 29-over 242 (79-81-82).
Senior Dani Ordonez, who did not golf in the second round due to injury, shot a 2-over 73 in the final round.
“Dani had to withdraw because of back spasms,” said Luellen. “She’s been battling a bad back the past year and wasn’t able to do anything last semester due to illness. When she was finally cleared to come back and play, her back started acting up again; so she hasn’t been able to do rehab.
She toughed it out this weekend,” added Luellen. “It was fantastic that she shot a 73 today. For someone who has not been able to do any preparation, this just proves what a competitor she is.”
Next up, the Sun Devils head to San Diego, Calif., Mar. 24-26, to compete in the SDSU Farms Invitational at The Farms Golf Club.
|T3||Noemi Jimenez (1)||71||72||69||212||-1|
|T49||Monica Vaughn (2)||78||77||74||229||+16|
|T65||Saki Iida (4)||83||75||74||232||+19|
|T68||Emilie Alonso (3)||84||75||74||233||+20|
|T84||Justine Lee (5)||79||81||82||242||+29|
|89||Dani Ordonez (Individual)||78||--||73||151||--|