2010-11 Kansas Women's Golf Season Recap

May 2, 2011

LAWRENCE, Kan.—Kansas women’s golf wrapped up the 2010-2011 season April 24 at the Big 12 Championship by placing 11th overall. It was only the second time that the Jayhawks failed to make the top 10 in a tournament this season.

The Jayhawks began the season by tying for second place at the weather shortened Chip-N Club Invitational in Lincoln, Neb., Sept. 13-14. Rain caused the event to be shortened to just two rounds. Seniors Meghna Bal and Grace Thiry both tied for fourth individually.

Two weeks later Kansas hosted the 2010 Marilynn Smith Sunflower Invitational at Alvamar Country Club in Lawrence, Kan. Thiry claimed medalist honors firing three straight one-over par rounds of 73 on her way to a 54-hole 219. Junior Katy Nugent, competing in her second tournament with the team after transferring from Arkansas, snatched second place finishing one stroke behind Thiry. Nugent rebounded from a first round 78 to fire a career best 69, the third lowest round in KU history, in the second round. As a team Kansas shot a 903 to defeat runner-up Arkansas-Little Rock by 10 strokes. The Jayhawks’ 290 in the third round was the second-best round in school history.

KU followed up its win at the Marilynn Smith Sunflower Invitational by traveling to Columbia, Mo., to compete in the Johnie Imes Invitational hosted by Missouri. Kansas struggled early on shooting 309 in the first round, but was able to improve each day finishing with a total of 911 for the tournament. Thiry was the top finisher for the Jayhawks for the third-straight tournament as she tied for 27th with a 227.

The Jayhawks next competed in the Price’s “Give ‘Em Five” Intercollegiate in Las Cruces, N.M., Oct. 11-13, where Nugent was the team’s top finisher for the first time in her career. The junior carded a final round 72 to finish tied for 22nd and helped the team to its fourth-straight top 10 finish on the season. Freshman Meghan Potee, competing in her third event for the Jayhawks, fired a 69 in the second round, a Kansas freshman record at the time, on her way to tying for 28th place.

Kansas wrapped the 2010 fall season two weeks later at the Edwin Watts/Palmetto Intercollegiate in Kiawah Island, S.C., Oct. 25 and 26. Nugent again lead the Jayhawks as she tied for fourth individually, her second best finish of the season, firing a career low 54-hole 216. As a team KU finished fourth behind rounds of 296, 296 and 295. The team’s 295 in the third round was the team’s lowest round of the season and tied for the fifth lowest round by a Jayhawk team in school history.

It was announced in February that Kansas women’s golf posted a grade-point average of 3.48 for the fall semester of 2010, nearly matching the Kansas Athletics-record 3.62 the team achieved the previous semester, and claimed the best GPA overall for the department. Seven members of the women’s golf team earned spots on the Athletics Director’s Honor Roll by achieving a 3.0 GPA or better.

The team capitalized on its off time between the fall and spring campaigns by finishing second at the Claud Jacobs Intercollegiate in Victoria, Texas, Feb. 13 and 14. Kansas placed two golfers in the top 10 and three in the top 20, including Meghna Bal, who was the top finisher for the Jayhawks tying for third, a career best.

After a short break the Jayhawks traveled to compete in the Sir Pizza Cards Challenge hosted by Louisville in Weston, Fla., Feb. 27-March 1. As a team Kansas notched its fifth top five finish of the season. Nugent tied for seventh place with a 54-hole score of 222, her third-best score of the season, and her third round 70 was also her second-best one-round score of the season. Freshman Thanuttra Boonraksasat’s 10th-place finish was the best finish of her career and her 54-hole 224 was also a career best. The Jayhawks’ 296 in the final round was the third best team round of the tournament and was KU’s second best team round on the year.

KU finished outside of the top 10 for the first time on the season at the MountainView Collegiate in Tucson, Ariz., March 25 and 26. Boonraksasat led the Jayhawks for the first time in her career, tying for 45th.

Boonraksasat was again the top finisher for the Jayhawks at the Ole Miss Rebel Challenge in University, Miss., April 1-3. The freshman carded a 54-hole career best 217, just four strokes out of first place, after shooting a 71 in the final round and tying for fourth individually. Her fourth-place finish was also a career best. Nugent was the next best Jayhawk, tying for 39th with a 54-hole 230. Kansas finished ninth as a team.

Eight days later Kansas traveled to Waco, Texas, for the Baylor Spring Invitational and the final regular season tournament for the Jayhawks. Potee was the top finisher for KU for the first time in her career tying for 15th after firing a final round 77 to finish the event with a 54-hole 228. Her 15th-place finish was a career best. Boonraksasat rebounded from a tough first day to finish five strokes back from Potee to tie for 29th. The freshman shot a tournament best 68 in the final round, the lowest by a freshman at KU and the second best round in KU history.

The Jayhawks wrapped the 2011 season at the Big 12 Championship in Columbia, Mo., April 22-24. Boonraksasat and Bal both finished in the top 30 to help Kansas finish 11th overall. Boonraksasat made three bogeys in her first eight holes of the final round before rebounding with two birdies over the next five holes. Unable to keep the momentum going, Boonraksasat made two more bogeys in the last five holes to finish with a 75 on the day. The freshman tied for 23rd with a 224 for the tournament. Competing in her final competition as a Jayhawk, Bal rebounded from a 78 in the second round to fire a 75 in the third. Bal tied for 28th individually with a 226 for the tournament.

“Overall, I’m pleased with the season,” said Kansas head coach Erin O’Neil. “We had a couple of finishes that weren’t as good as I would have liked; however, the team rebounded and learned from their mistakes. With continued hard work and dedication I am optimistic about us accomplishing even more of our goals next season.”

Boonraksasat finished the season leading the Jayhawks with 75.75 stroke per round average. Nugent was less than half a stroke behind at 76.03 for the season. Thiry and Bal both managed to stay under 77 strokes per round in their final seasons as Thiry posted a 76.63 average and Bal a 76.88 average.

Boonraksasat’s three top finishes among KU golfers tied her with Nugent and Thiry for the team lead. Boonraksasat will look to be the team leader in the 2011-12 season.