Buck, Lugar and Zhou Finish in Top-10 at Golfweek Fall Preview
Destin, Fla., October 16, 2012 — The No. 2 ranked Washington University in St. Louis women’s golf team wrapped up its 2012 fall season with a third place finish at the 2012 GolfWeek Division III Fall Preview, held on Oct. 14-16 at the Baytowne Golf Club in Destin, Fla.
In a field that featured nine of the top-20 teams in NCAA Division III, No. 1 ranked and 15-time NCAA Division III National Champion Methodist University fired to the low round of the tournament on the final day to rally to claim the team title with a three-day total of 922 (317-306, 299).
No. 8 Mary Hardin-Baylor, the leader heading into the final round, slipped to second with a score of 928 (305-310-313. Washington University (309-316-304, 929), No. 10 Illinois Wesleyan University (320-321-324, 965) and No. 3 Centre College (325-315-327, 967) rounded out the top five. Methodist’s Loretta Giovannettone and Mary Hardin Baylor’s Taylor O’Rear tied for medalist honors with a score of 225.
Washington U. had four of its five starters shoot 80 or lower on day three, as the Bears recorded their second lowest round of the year. Freshman Connie Zhou fired the low round of the tournament on the final day with a two-under 70. Zhou’s round was also the second lowest in school history.
After a an even-par 36 on the opening nine, Zhou tore up the back nine with four birdies en route to a two-under 34. She finished the three-day tournament in a tie for fifth place with a 229 (81-78-70). Zhou has a 77.5 average heading into the spring season, with eight of 11 rounds under 80.
“All three days my ball striking and putting were good, but today it finally came together. The first two days I felt good about my swing, but I went into the water a few times and that really killed my score,” said Zhou. “Even though those two rounds were not as good as I expected, I didn't change anything and trusted my swing. By the end of the round I was mentally exhausted from trying to calm myself down throughout the round because one bad shot easily can easily ruin a good round.
Sophomore Olivia Lugar was the top overall finisher for Washington U., finishing two strokes back of the leaders in sole of possession of third place with a score of 227 (75-75-77). Lugar shot a 40 on the front in the final round with five bogeys and a birdie, but responded on the back with a one-over 37 with a birdie and three bogeys. She finishes the fall season with all 11 rounds at 80 or lower and a team-best 76.2 average.
“Coming off the first day, we really liked the course, but we were still trying to figure it out,” said Lugar. “Today, we obviously really clicked with the course set up and fired some great scores. Leaving here, I think we have a great feel for where we went to be and where we’re heading, so I’m really proud of how we played. I think we’ve had a great fall season, and I can’t wait to come back in the spring.”
Senior Hannah Buck continued her consistent play on the final day that has led her to three All-America accolades at Washington University. Buck shot a 77 on day three to finish in seventh place with a three-day score of 232 (76-79-77). She fired a four-over 40 on the front with four bogeys, and then responded with a 37 on the back, including a birdie on the par-3 160-yard No. 17 hole. Buck enters the spring with a 79.1 average, third best on the team.
Junior Andrea Hibbert rallied from difficult round on day two for an 80 on the final day to finish in a tie for 14th place. Hibbert’s three-day total of 242 (77-85-80) was just five strokes out of the top-10. Hibbert played the front on at five-over 41, and followed with a two-over 39 on the back. She enters the spring season with an 80.1 average.
Senior Melanie Walsh rounded out Washington University’s starting lineup with a 48th place finish with a three-day score of 263 (90-84-89). Walsh, who missed last season while studying overseas, completed the fall with an 85.1 average in nine rounds.
Washington University begins its 2013 spring season on Friday-Saturday, March 15-16, at the George Fox Invite in Peoria, Ariz.