Women’s Golf: Wildcats storm back to take second in Wilmette

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Nathan Richards/Daily Senior Staffer

Junior Kaitlin Park was symbolic of Northwestern’s comeback from 14th place to second at the Windy City Collegiate Classic in Wilmette. Park jumped 14 spots on the event’s final day.

Alex Lederman, Assistant Sports Editor

No. 17 Northwestern staged an incredible comeback late Monday and Tuesday to jump from 14th place out of 15 schools after the first nine holes, to second at the end of the Windy City Collegiate Classic in Wilmette.

Day one was a tale of two halves for coach Emily Fletcher‘s squad at Westmoreland Country Club. Midway through the first round, NU sat one spot away from dead last. Although the Cats bounced back slightly in the second half of morning play, they still finished round one in eighth place with a 12-over 300.

That all changed in afternoon play. NU turned in a one-under 287 the second time around the course, the best score of the round.

Overall on the day, the Cats finished 11-over 587, sitting comfortably in second place behind only No. 1 Southern California. Teams trailing NU included No. 9 Arizona (18-over 594), No. 18 Oklahoma State (13-over 589) and No. 23 Ohio State (33-over 609).

Leading the charge for the Cats was freshman Hannah Kim, who knocked in four straight birdies on the afternoon — four of the team’s 16 birdies for the round — to end the day in fifth overall with a one-under 143.

Joining her near the top for NU were junior Suchaya Tangkamolprasert and senior Hana Lee, with a two-over 146 (T11) and four-over 148 (T18) respectively. Sophomore Kacie Komoto and freshman Sarah Cho tied for 26th after the first day with a six-over 150, while junior Kaitlin Park’s eight-over 152 landed her in a tie for 37th after two rounds.

Although the standings around the Cats were shaken up, NU held steady at second Tuesday to finish the event as the runner-up. The Cats did gain ground on USC, but the Trojans still finished three strokes better with a 12-over 876, compared with NU’s final 15-over 879. Iowa State, Arizona and Oklahoma State finished third, fourth and fifth.

The Cats’ day two 4-over 292 was the second best score of the day.

Individually, Park jumped 14 spots in the rankings to 23rd after an even-par 72 final round and a eight-over 224 overall. Kim’s four-over 72 dropped her three places to eighth (two-over 218), while Tangkamolprasert’s one-over 73 helped her jump one spot to 10th (three-over 219). Finishing just one stroke behind her was Lee (four-over 220), who also shot par on Tue1sday. Komoto and Cho stayed tied, but each fell one spot to 27th after a three-over 75 round. Their overall score was a 9-over 225.

The Cats return to action Oct. 17 and 18 for the Stanford Intercollegiate in Stanford, California.

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