Women’s Golf: No. 16 Northwestern dominates at Silverado Showdown, earns second straight tournament victory


Daily file photo by Angeli Mittal

Freshman Dianna Lee watches the ball. Lee earned a season-best second place finish at the Silverado Showdown.

Lucas Kim, Development and Recruitment Editor

There was no stopping No. 16 Northwestern as the team prevailed at the Silverado Showdown on Wednesday.

Just a week after taking home the PING/ASU invitational title by a margin of 14 strokes, the Wildcats traveled to California where they earned their second tournament victory in a row — this time by seven strokes.

Competing against a stacked field, with five top-15 teams and 11 top-40 teams, NU ran away with an early lead and never looked back.

Junior Jieni Li led the Cats in the first round, carding a 4-under 68 and helping NU take first place with a score of 284. Graduate student and reigning Big Ten Golfer of the Week Kelly Sim followed up closely behind with a 3-under 69, continuing her run of excellence after earning individual medalist honors at the PING/ASU Invitational.

Entering the second round with an eight-shot lead over No. 13 Texas A&M, the Cats continued to dominate. With help from freshman Dianna Lee’s 3-under 69 and sophomore Lauryn Nguyen’s 2-under 70, NU tallied an even-par 288 –– five strokes better than any other team in the second round.

This set the Cats up with an even bigger cushion heading into the final day of the tournament, which they started with a lead of 16 shots. All they needed to do was to avoid a major meltdown and the victory was theirs.

The last 18 holes, however, did not go as planned for NU.

The Cats accumulated 25 bogeys, two double bogeys and two triple bogeys over the course of the final round. By the middle of the round, NU’s 16-hole lead had been cut to two as the team tried to fend off a rising Texas A&M squad.

The Cats’ lead hovered around two strokes throughout the last nine holes. Four consecutive birdies from Lee gave them the final push to secure the tournament title.

NU finished with a third round score of 13-over, bringing its final tally to a 9-over 873. Lee led the squad with a 3-under 69 in the round as every other Wildcat shot three or more strokes over par.

The freshman’s impressive final round propelled her to a second-place tie in the tournament’s individual standings. This was Lee’s second straight top-five finish and fourth top-10 finish since the new year. Li and Nguyen followed up in fifth and 15th place, respectively.

This is NU’s first time winning two or more tournaments in a season since the 2016-17 season. During that season, the Cats placed a program-best second at the NCAA Championships.

With NU on a roll as of late, the squad will look to appear in its first NCAA Championships since 2019.

The Cats’ next outing will be at the Big Ten Championships starting April 21.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @lucaskim_15

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