⛳️ Hirst Posts a 68; Kansas in 6th After Opening Round of NCAA Regional

CLE ELUM, Wash. – Junior Lily Hirst posted a 4-under round of 68 at Tumble Creek Club on day one of the NCAA Cle Elum Regional, marking the second-lowest round by a Kansas golfer ever in NCAA Tournament play. The Jayhawks are in sixth place at +6 after an opening round of 294.

Duke leads the 12-team regional at -6, followed by Stanford (-4), Arizona State (E), Virginia (+1) and Long Beach State (+4) to round out the top five. With 36 holes left to play, the top five teams will advance to the NCAA Championship in La Costa, California, May 17-22. Kansas is two shots back of fifth place and 12 shots off the lead. 

“We really turned it on for the back nine, especially the last six holes,” said KU third-year head coach Lindsay Kuhle. “There are a lot of birdie opportunities on the back. Long hitters are able to take advantage of the Par 5’s. We talk a lot about staying patient and confident, especially for the next two rounds.”  

Hirst went four-under on the final five holes of her first round. On the day, she carded four birdies and a chip-in eagle on the Par-five 14th hole. Hirst’s round of 68 is the second-lowest round by a Jayhawk in the NCAA Tournament, only behind Yupaporn Kawinpakorn’s 67 in the 2015 NCAA West Regional. Hirst sits in a tie for second place at -4 and tied for the second-lowest score of the day in her NCAA Tournament debut.   

“We all knew that the front nine was going to be the hardest part of the golf course,” Hirst said following the opening round. “I made some good up-and-down shots and didn’t miss a putt within eight feet, which really helps. The back nine here is so scoreable. We need to play conservatively on the front nine and then attack on the back. We just need to have fun out there, which we did today.” 

Also, in her NCAA Tournament debut, sophomore Amy DeKock posted a one-over round of 73, consisting of two birdies and just three bogeys. DeKock’s two birdies both came on a Par-five and of the five available Par fives, she parred the remaining three. DeKock sits in a tie for 16th at +1. 

“I thought we putted really well today,” Kuhle added. “I always say we are a great ball-striking team and I thought that was evident today.” 

After a tough start to the day, junior Lauren Clark bounced back by carding a birdie on 14 and a chip-in for eagle on the 18th to finish the day with a four-over round of 76. Clark is T38 after the opening round. 

Junior Jordan Rothman carded a five-over 77 which included two birdies, putting her T44. 

Senior Hanna Hawks shot an 83 and is in 65th. 

Kansas will tee off at 11:00 a.m. CT on hole 10 for the second round and will be grouped with Virginia and Long Beach State. Live scoring for Tuesday’s second round will be available on Golfstat, while fans can also follow with live updates throughout the round from the official Kansas Women’s Golf Twitter (X) account.