Women’s Golf: Wildcats struggle to eighth place finish in Arizona


Daily file photo by Nathan Richards

Hannah Kim tees off. The sophomore finished highest amongst the Wildcats this weekend with a four-over par.

Joseph Wilkinson, Reporter

Women’s Golf

Northwestern’s quest to improve heading into the Big Ten Championships hit a major roadblock, as the No. 7 Wildcats tied for eighth in the PING/ASU Invitational this weekend.

NU was led by sophomore Hannah Kim, who shot four-over par through three rounds, but finished 16 strokes behind the leader, UCLA’s Bronte Law, who shot a 12-under 204 to win by three strokes and propel the Bruins to victory. The Cats finished the tournament at 30-over as a team, 42 strokes behind the champions.

“My shots weren’t as consistent,” Kim said. “I wouldn’t pinpoint one part of my game to be necessarily bad, but if I were going to work on something it would be my shots.”

The Cats shot an opening round 301 on Friday, the third-worst round of the 14 teams in the tournament on that day.  

Only one Northwestern player, freshman Janet Mao, finished under-par on the first day. However, she competed as an individual and therefore did not contribute to the team’s overall score.

“We just didn’t play great,” coach Emily Fletcher said. “We really didn’t make any birdies and just struggled a little bit. We made some mistakes and we just weren’t able to recover with birdies.”

Saturday, however, was a completely different story for NU, as the team carded a 282, tied for the best round of the day with host Arizona State, who finished second overall.

Kim, freshman Stephanie Lau, and sophomore Sarah Cho all finished under par on the day, with Lau carding a six-under 66 to vault into the top 10.

“Going into Saturday I just really wanted to hit more greens,” Lau said. “I was putting really well, so I was definitely trying to be more aggressive, too. I think I just had it all Friday but wasn’t putting it together, and Saturday I was able to get the ball on the green and make more putts.”

It all fell apart for the Cats on Sunday though as difficult scoring conditions led to a team score of 311, the third-worst round of any team for the entire tournament and the second worst round of any team on Sunday.

Lau, Cho, and senior Suchaya Tangkamolprasert all shot in the 80s, while Kim and junior Kacie Komoto shot 3-over 75s to lead the team.

The Cats weren’t alone in their struggles however, as multiple teams shot in the 300s on Sunday, as course conditions were significantly worse than during the previous two days.

“The conditions were very bad,” Fletcher said. “It rained, high winds. Obviously there were still some good scores by some other teams, but we were bad.”

NU will have next weekend off before heading to the Big Ten Championships on April 22 in Newburgh, Indiana. NU is the only Big Ten team ranked in the top 25, with the next highest-ranked team being No. 33 Purdue.

“We’ll do quite a bit of short game and quite a bit of ball striking,” Fletcher said. “We’ll try to play three or four times between now and next week. We’ll look to rest and recover a little bit, but we’ll also look forward to getting our games at the very best going into Big Tens.”

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