Washington U. Women’s Golf Runner-Up at O’Brien National Invitational
Photos by Sarah Miesle, Saint Mary's College
South Bend, Ind., September 17, 2012 — The Washington University in St. Louis women’s golf team took home second-place honors at the 10-team O’Brien National Invitational held Sunday-Monday, Sept. 16-17, at the Warren Golf Course on the campus of the University of Notre Dame.
No. 1 Methodist University, winners of 15-straight NCAA Division III National Championships, fired a two-day total of 633 (318-315) to edge the second-place Bears by seven strokes. Washington University’s 36-hole score of 640 (321-319) was a season low, and was one shot ahead of No. 3 Centre College, who shot a 641 (325-316). No. 2 DePauw University was fourth with a 649 (332-317) and No. 6 University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire rounded out the top five with a 659 (329-330).
Kelsey Morrison of George Fox University led from start to finish and posted a four-shot victory over Kelsey Smith of DePauw in the individual standings with a 149 (73-76). Smith fired a tournament-record 70 on Monday.
“Today was a good day for our team, and we did just enough to hold off Centre,’ said fifth-year head coach Sean Curtis. “We are trying to think of ourselves as championship contenders and this tournament’s results were definitely a step in that direction.”
Senior Hannah Buck and sophomore Olivia Lugar each posted top-10 finishes for the Bears. Buck, who started the day just one-shot back of the lead, fired an 82 on day two to finish in a tie for fifth place with a 156 (74-82). Buck was joined on the all-tournament team by Whitney Miller (Centre), Kelsey Morrison (George Fox), Kelsey Smith (DePauw), Jennifer Sullivan (Methodist) and Catherine Wagner (UW-Eau Claire).
“It was important to prove to ourselves that we can compete with these top teams, “ Buck said. “This tournament had basically the same field we’ll see at nationals in May, so finishing second so early in the year is exciting.”
Lugar finished a stroke behind Buck with a 157 (77-80) and tied for seventh place. Lugar, the 2012 NGCA Rookie of the Year and National Player of the Year, has fired 26 of 28 rounds in her career at 80 or lower and finished in the top-10 in 11 of 13 tournaments played.
Freshman Connie Zhou fired the low round of the day for the Bears with a 77, and just missed a top-10 finish by finishing in a tie for 11th with a 160 (83-77). Zhou has been excellent in her first two tournaments for the Bears, averaging 80.0 per round with two top-15 finishes.
Junior Andrea Hibbert (27th place, 87-80, 167) and freshman Erin Lawrence (34th place, 89-82) rounded out the starting lineup for Washington U. Senior Melanie Walsh competed as an individual and finished in a tie for 44th place in the individual standings with a two-day score of 177 (88-89).
Washington U. returns to action at the Millikin Fall Classic, on Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 22-23, at the Red Tail Run Golf Course.
Bear Notebook: Buck tied for second in par 3 scoring (3.13, +1), while Lugar was second in birdies with four … As a team Washington U. led the tournament with 14 birdies and was second in par 4 scoring (4.49, +49) and par 5 scoring (5.45, +18), and third in par 3 scoring (3.60, +24).