Women’s Golf: Cats miss qualifying for NCAA Championship for first time since 2012


Daily file photo by Alison Albeda

Irene Kim watches her swing. Kim led the Cats at the NCAA Regional, tying for 24th.

Charlotte Varnes, Assistant Sports Editor

Women’s Golf

Northwestern finished its season at the NCAA Regional, placing 12th and failing to qualify for the NCAA Championship for the first time since 2012.

The Wildcats competed at the Stanford Regional from May 10 to May 12, which marked their eleventh consecutive time participating in the event. NU had a strong performance through the first two rounds, tying for eighth place at the end of both. The Cats’ chances of securing a berth to the NCAA Championship were heavily weakened after a third round performance of +300, dropping NU to 12th. 

Sophomore Irene Kim, the 2021 Big Ten Golfer of the Year, led the Cats at the Regional with a score of +216 through three rounds and finished tied for 24th. Junior Kelly Sim and freshman Jieni Li were close behind her in score, as both tallied +225 to tie for 61st.

The Stanford Regional posed a significant test for all teams in attendance. The competition’s lineup featured multiple teams ranked in the top-seven of the WGCA Coaches’ Poll, including Southern California, Wake Forest and Oklahoma State.

Over the past seven NCAA Championships, NU recorded seven top-15 finishes and was  the runner-up in the 2017 NCAA Championship. Now, the Cats are out of championship contention. 

Despite their defeat in Stanford, the Cats delivered strong performances throughout the 2021 regular season campaign, highlighted by four top-five finishes and a win over Ohio State at a January dual matchup. However, NU struggled to bounce back following a fifth-place showing at the Big Ten Championship with a score of +867. 

Next season, the Cats will look to build on their regular season success as underclassmen Kim, Sim, Li and freshman Jennifer Cai give the team a strong foundation for next season. 

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Twitter: @charvarnes11

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