Women’s Golf: Wildcats show improvement at Windy City Collegiate Classic

After picking up an individual third-place finish at the Dirk McGuire Invitational, senior Lauren Weaver struggled at the Windy City Collegiate Classic, placing tied for 43rd overall.

Courtesy of Steven Carrera

After picking up an individual third-place finish at the Dirk McGuire Invitational, senior Lauren Weaver struggled at the Windy City Collegiate Classic, placing tied for 43rd overall.

Nick Medline, Assistant Sports Editor

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At this point of the season, Northwestern can take solace in saving the best for last.

Of the entire 15-team field at the Windy City Collegiate Classic in Golf, Ill., the host Wildcats were the only squad to improve their overall score each day.

Entering the third and final round Tuesday, the Cats stood in a tie for sixth. After posting a 292 — the best team score of the day – NU left with an impressive third-place finish.

The Cats opened with a 298 and improved by four strokes in the second round prior to the impressive finale.

Sophomore Nicole Zhang, who transferred from Notre Dame after the 2010-2011 season, finished tied for fourth as an individual. After a difficult first round in which she posted a 76, Zhang responded with consecutive scores of 2-under, 70.

Fellow sophomore Hana Lee earned her second straight top 10 finish, which can be attributed to her consistency. Lee was the only Cat to score 74 or lower in all three rounds. She helped NU stay in contention during the first round. While Zhang struggled, Lee managed an opening-round 71. Her overall score of 219, 3-over par, tied her career low, set last week in the Dick McGuire Invitational.

Junior Devon Brown labored through a tough opening round with a dismal 80, but as was true for the Cats, she improved her score in each of the next two rounds. Brown rebounded with a 74, and in the third round, had the second best outing on the team with an even 72.

The other team competitors, senior Lauren Weaver and freshman Kaitlin Park, finished tied for 43rd with an overall score of 14-over.

Weaver, one of three seniors to travel, had one of her weaker tournaments. After a third-place finish last weekend, Weaver – who entered the season as NU’s career leader in scoring average – did not shoot below 76 in any of the three rounds.

Park, who played as an individual in her career debut last weekend, started the tournament on a positive note with a 75 before cooling off.

NU translated excellent individual performances to top-five finishes in its opening two tournaments of the fall season. The Cats look to put the pieces together during the upcoming Mercedes-Benz Women’s Championship in Knoxville, Tenn.

The Cats last played in Knoxville in 2006, when they finished 14th out of 15 teams at the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championships.

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