Women’s Golf: Northwestern sets three school records, as Kim leads Wildcats to third-straight Hurricane Invitational victory


Daily file photo by Nathan Richards

Hannah Kim tees off to start a new hole. The sophomore helped the Wildcats win another Hurricane Invitational and set three program records.

Joseph Wilkinson, Reporter

Women’s Golf

Northwestern continued its dominance at the Hurricane Invitational this week as the Wildcats set three school records and claimed their third-straight tournament title.

No. 7 NU finished 24-under-par for the tournament, 21 strokes ahead of second place No. 16 Iowa State, and sophomore Hannah Kim won her first individual championship, shooting a program-record 14-under 199 in the process. That performance was seven strokes better than the previous record held by freshman Stephanie Lau. The record-setting showing was buoyed by Kim’s 7-under 64 on Wednesday, which also happened to be a school record.

“Usually, when I’m going low for the day my heart starts thumping really hard, but for some reason today I felt really relaxed and calm,” Kim said. “I just went with it, and it was really cool to see the results.”

The Cats led from the start, shooting a 7-under 277 as a team to take a four-stroke lead over the Cyclones on Monday. Unlike Iowa State, however, NU didn’t let up on Tuesday, posting a 9-under 275, the best round of the tournament and also the best round in program history in any event.

The dominant second round opened up a 15-stroke lead going into the final day, when the Cats also shot the top round of the afternoon — an 8-under 276 — to solidify the championship.

Of course, that 8-under received a significant boost from Kim’s outstanding round.

“Hannah’s performance was second to none. It’s the most dominating thing I’ve ever seen in our program’s history,” Emily Fletcher, in her eighth year as the team’s coach, said. “She just was a machine out there, and, as low as she shot, she could’ve been better. She hit so many good shots.”

Kim wasn’t the only one responsible for NU’s crushing victory, as junior Kacie Komoto shot 4-under to tie for fourth place and sophomore Sarah Cho added another top-10 finish to her resume, finishing 1-under and tying for eighth.

For Komoto, the top-5 finish didn’t come easily, as she struggled to overcome recent issues with her swing.

“I wasn’t striking the ball very well this week, so going into this tournament I just told myself that I have to play with it, I have to manage it, and I can’t really fix it,” Komoto said. “I normally depend a lot on my swing always being on point. This week it wasn’t, so I was really happy with the way that I still managed to play well and use it as one of my strengths.”

Behind Kim, Komoto and Cho were Lau, who shot 1-over-par to finish tied for 14th, and senior Suchaya Tangkamolprasert, who, after playing to an impressive 4-under 67 on Tuesday, dropped back to a tie for 20th after finishing 3-over.

There may have been eight top-50 and two top-25 teams in the field in addition to Cats, but no one was a match for Kim’s commanding performance.

“I couldn’t be happier for Hannah,” Fletcher said. “She works tirelessly, and I think that’s one of the most rewarding things as a coach — to see your players who put in so much time effort, to see them get something out of their game out on the course like they did the last three days is just really, really fun.”

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