Women’s Golf: Northwestern secures two top 10 finishes to end out season tournaments


Daily file photo by Alison Albelda

Irene Kim watches her swing at the 2022 Darius Rucker Intercollegiate. Kim, who competed individually, tied for 30th at the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate.

Lucas Kim, Assistant Sports Editor

Women’s Golf

In an action-packed week and a half, Northwestern competed in its final two season tournaments before the Big Ten Championship, placing in the top half of both competitions.

In their best invitational performance of the year, the Wildcats tied for fifth place after hitting one-under par in the PING/ASU Invitational held in Phoenix from March 25 through 27.

NU played some of the top collegiate competition in the 16-team tournament, facing five of the top 10 nationally ranked teams and 11 of the top 50 teams.

The Cats were led by senior Kelly Sim, who tied for fifth place overall after scoring 211 (-5) and making birdies in five of her last ten holes in the third round.

The PING/ASU Invitational has historically been a great event for Sim. She captured the title in the 2021 PING/ASU Invitational with an identical score of 211, marking her second career title. That year, NU hit seven-over to place sixth in the 15-team field, yielding a similar result to that of this year.

Sophomore Jennifer Cai also impressed with a 10th place performance, finishing just two strokes below Sim.

Host No. 8 Arizona State led the field with a 25-under performance, 15 strokes below runner-up No. 2 Oregon.

After an eight-day rest, the Cats once again traveled west, this time to Napa, California to compete in the Silverado Showdown, another 16-team tournament filled with top talent, including 12 top-50 teams.

On a tough course where no team scored under par, NU finished tied for seventh place with Arizona State, the winner of the previous week’s PING/ASU Invitational.

No. 5 San Jose State led the pack, scoring six-over, while No. 2 Oregon again placed second just two strokes behind.

Cai finished in the top 15 for the second time in a row, tying for 14th and notching a team-best 70 (-2) in round three. Freshman Lauryn Nguyen was the Cats’ second-best performer, tying for 22nd and coming in six shots over par for the event.

This marked yet another improvement from the 2021 spring season when No. 15 NU placed ninth out of 13 teams in last year’s Silverado Showdown.

Leading the Cats in that tournament was junior and 2021 Big Ten Golfer of the Year Irene Kim, who missed this year’s Silverado Showdown to play in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur.

Entering its third year of existence, the Augusta National is an elite-level tournament with a global field of 72 women amateur athletes hand-selected from all over the world.

This January, Kim received her first career invite to the annual tournament which took place in Augusta, Georgia from March 30 through April 2. After two rounds of play, Kim missed the top-30 cut to make it to the third round and was eliminated.

Later this month, Kim and No. 39 NU will look to make a statement at this year’s Big Ten Championship after placing fifth last year. The tournament will be held in Pittsburgh from April 22 through 24.

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