Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Women’s Golf: Northwestern begins new year with fourth-place finish at the UCF Challenge

Junior+Lauryn+Nguyen.
Daily file photo by Angeli Mittal
Junior Lauryn Nguyen.

In its first tournament of the new year, Northwestern kept up impressive form and rode an excellent third-round performance to end tied for fourth out of 18 squads at the UCF Challenge earlier this week.

Traveling to Orlando, Fla. for the weekend, the Wildcats picked up their fourth consecutive top-four finish, tallying an 8-under-par 856. North Carolina picked up the victory at a comfortable 18-under.

Leading NU was a trio of senior Jieni Li, senior Jennifer Cai and junior Lauryn Nguyen, all of whom nabbed top-15 finishes. Li and Nguyen were both named to the All-Big Ten First Team last season while Cai achieved the same feat the prior season.

Cai got out to a fast start, hitting a 2-under 70 and was the only ‘Cat to finish the first round under par. The team, however, could not capitalize on Cai’s momentum and sat in seventh place after the tournament’s opening round.

The second round saw NU jump up to fifth place with a key contribution from freshman Ashley Yun, who shot a 3-under 69 — the squad’s best individual round up to that point.

Entering the final day of play tied with hosts UCF and only two strokes behind fourth-place Kansas, the ‘Cats had a prime chance to jump up in the leaderboard.

They did just that on the backs of Li and Nguyen, who hit 4-under and 3-under, respectively. Li collected seven birdies, helping her match her career-best 18-hole round and tie for 12th individually.

On the 11th hole, Nguyen nailed her first career hole-in-one — the sixth in program history with the last one in 2018 — propelling the junior to earn a share of 14th place alongside Cai.

NU’s next outing will take place in Florida for the Moon Golf Invitational in less than two weeks. The squad anticipates the return of reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Year Dianna Lee, who missed the UCF Challenge due to illness.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @lucaskim_15

Related Stories:

Women’s Golf: No. 22 Northwestern places second at Stanford Intercollegiate, raises $25,000 for charity

Women’s Golf: Northwestern places four in top 20, finishes third at Illini Women’s Invitational

Women’s Golf: Nguyen nabs individual honors, Northwestern finishes second at Windy City Collegiate Classic

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