TULSA, Okla. – California had another strong round Friday to close out the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships with a 22nd place finish in the team’s eight appearance at the national finals.
The Golden Bears finished with a 296-305-289=290=1178 (+58) at the par-70 Tulsa Country Club behind a skillful career-ending performance from senior Nicola Rössler who shot an even 70 Friday to finish the tournament tied for 23rd on the individual leaderboard with a 70-75-71-70=286 (+6). Competing as a collegian for the final time, Rössler hit four birdies in the final round, including one on the par-4 18th, to go out on a high note for California.
“It was a pretty good round today,” California head coach Nancy McDaniel said. “Nico finishing the way she did and putting herself in a top 25 position is really a great way to end her career. She ended it with a birdie which was exciting for everybody to see her end her career that way. That sums up what she’s all about as the team’s leader. It really put an exclamation point on her career.”
Sophomore Carly Childs tied for 59th after carding a 74 Friday – her third of the week – to finish with a score of 74-74-72-74=294 (+14). After beginning with a double-bogey on the par-4 1st, Childs shot just two-over for the remaining 17 holes to wrap up a great sophomore season.
Classmate Hannah Suh had her best round of the tournament Friday with a 2-over 72 to finish with a 73-80-75-72=300 (+20). Suh, who placed 90th, hit back-to-back birdies on the 5th and 6th holes to pave the way for her finish.
Freshman Lucia Gutierrez had her second consecutive strong round after a tough first two days at the national championship. Gutierrez carded a 74 Friday with the four strokes above par coming from double-bogeys on the 1st and 3rd holes. She rebounded from the rough start to shoot par the rest of the day and finished tied for 105th with a score of 79-78-73-74=304 (+24).
Junior Jo Ee Kok also had her second-best round of the week with a 76 and finished with a score of 82-78-73-76=309 (+29). She finished tied for 118th on the individual leaderboard.
“Carly’s play again was really consistent,” McDaniel said. “To have Hannah go in with a better round today was certainly helpful. In that crowd of teams at the national championship, it’s tough to move up unless you have an under-par round and good weather like we had today.”
Duke won the team title with a 293-285-278-274=1130 (+10) with USC and UCLA taking second and third, respectively.
“Overall I’m proud of these guys for the way they handled themselves at their first national championship and for the way they competed and were relentless in their effort until the very last putt,” McDaniel said. “I think you have to be at the national championship with some returners to make a move on this field. We have a lot of great experience out of this week, so I’m happy about it, and it’s great for the program. This was a first class group of young women who do so well academically and athletically. We’re lucky to have them represent our program.”
COURSE: Tulsa Country Club (6,194 yards, par-70) – Tulsa, Okla.