The University of Colorado women’s golf team saved their best round for last, firing a 287 on the last day of competition at the Pac-12 Championship on Sunday to take seventh overall.
Southern California never let go of the team lead after the first day and won the conference crown by five strokes.
The Trojans, ranked 10th by Golfstat, recorded a 5-under 279 to finish with an 849. No. 26 Stanford moved back up to second (854) and No. 7 Arizona State placed third (860). Arizona, ranked 22nd, finished one stroke behind the Sun Devils (861) and No. 27 UCLA and No. 12 Oregon tied for fifth (875).
Colorado improved in each round of the championship and each day the team started on the 10th tee. CU shot a 302 on Friday and came back on Saturday with a 298. But Sunday’s round of 287, which was 3-over on the 6,269-yard, par 71 Stanford Golf Course, was the best round the Buffs have recorded since the second round of the Branch Law/Dick McGuire Invite on Sept. 11, 2018, when CU recorded a 285. (That tournament was played on a par 72 course.)
The Buffs recorded an 887 for the championship, finishing ahead of Oregon State (896), Washington (897) and California (910).
“Our team fought really hard today and showed signs of what we have been capable of all semester,” head coach Anne Kelly said. “We had 21 birdies today which is a huge improvement over the first few days. Kirsty started well then had a disaster hole, but as she has done for five years, she just kept fighting and found a way to shoot a good score. The finishing holes were very tough because of wind and hole locations.”
Sophomore Ellie Gower led CU, tying for 13th to earn the first top-15 finish of her collegiate career. She closed out the championship with a 2-over 73 after carding a 70 and 76, respectively, in the first two rounds to finish with a 219.
Junior Malak Bouraeda and senior Kirsty Hodgkins tied for 27th as both finished with a 225.
Hodgkins ended her CU career with a 73 to go with her previous rounds of 74 and 78. She led the Buffs with six birdies on Sunday, and made par seven times.
Freshman Hailey Schalk turned in her finest round of the tournament, firing an even 71. All four of her bogeys were wiped out with four birdies and she made par on the other 10 holes.
Junior Alisha Lau ended up tied for 38th, carding a 229 for the championship.
Stanford’s Rachel Heck moved up from second to first to claim medalist honors and finished 7-under. She was 5-under entering the final round (68-69) and fired a 69 in the last 18-holes to finish with a 206. She ended with a two-stroke advantage over USC’s Amelia Garvey, who turned in a 208 on her scorecard (67-72-69).
ALL-PAC-12 TEAMS ANNOUNCED
The Pac-12 announced the All-Pac-12 Teams following the conclusion of the championship. Junior Malak Bouraeda was named to the honorable mention team. This is her first post-season conference honor. She is the sixth Buff to be named to the All-Pac-12 honorable mention team and the 10th Buff overall to earn All-Pac-12 honors.
Team scores — 1. Southern California 283-287-279-849; 2. Stanford 289-286-279-854, 3. Arizona State 291-283-286-860, 4. Arizona 291-285-285-861, T5 291-290-294-875, T5 Oregon 297-295-283-875, 7. Colorado 302-298-287-887, 8. Oregon State 305-303-288-896, 9. Washington 303-300-294-897, 10. California 296-313-301-910.
CU individuals – T13 Ellie Gower 70-76-73-219, T27 Malak Bouraeda 84-71-70-225, T27 Kirsty Hodgkins 74-78- 73-225, 35 Hailey Schalk 81-75-71-227, T38 Alisha Lau 77-76-76-229.
Top 5 individuals – 1. Rachel Heck 68-69-69-206, 2. Amelia Garvey, Southern California 67-72-69-208, T3 Malia Nam, Southern California 68-72-69-209, T3 YuSang Hou, Arizona 71-68-70-209, T5 Linn Grant, Arizona State 73-69-68-210, T5 Briana Chacon, Oregon 71-71-68-210