KU Women's Golf 2006-07 Recap
May 7, 2007
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
The University of Kansas women’s golf team finished its 2006-07 year with a lot of program firsts. Senior Amanda Costner’s historical finish at the Big 12 Championship highlighted the Jayhawks’ campaign.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>
Costner became the first Jayhawk to win the individual title at the Big 12 Championship in Waco, Texas on April 18. Costner led the individual field, firing a 71 in the first round and was the only golfer to finish under par for the day. She led the field from wire-to-wire, shooting a three-day total of 221 (71-73-77).
Prior to this year, she was also the only KU athlete to place among the top 10 individuals in scoring (seventh place in 2004) since the Big 12 began competition in 1997. As a team, Kansas finished ninth with a final score of 945.
“Amanda did a fabulous job of keeping her head leveled,” head coach Erin O’Neil said. “Handling the pressure is always hard going into the final round with everyone gunning for you. She kept her composure, and finished strong with a birdie – that says a lot.”
Handling pressure is something that Costner and the Jayhawks did throughout the year.
KU began the fall season in Fort Collins, Colo., at the Ptarmigan/Ram Fall Classic hosted by Colorado State. Freshman Meghan Gockel shot a career-best 71 in her inaugural tournament, while Costner fired a 74 during the three-round tournament. The `Hawks ended the tournament in ninth place out of 17 teams with a total score of 903 (295-310-298).
The golfers next found themselves in Lincoln, Neb., at the Chip-N Club Invitational hosted by Nebraska. Gockel led the team throughout the tournament and shot a 74 in the final round to tie for a career-best fourth place. Another freshman, Emily Powers, also excelled and finished the tournament in 10th. KU shot a combined-total of 943 (322-317-304) at the Yankee Hill Country Club.
After two tournaments on the road, the Jayhawks had the chance to defend their home territory as hosts of the Marilynn Smith Invitational. Powers shined once again, firing a 72 in the final round to spark the Jayhawks to first place and a fourth-place finish individually, setting a career best. The `Hawks shot a 917 (304-306-307) as a team, 14 strokes ahead of second place, Nebraska, at Alvamar Golf Club.
Kansas later faced competition at Price’s New Mexico State University Collegiate Invitational in Las Cruces, N.M. The Jayhawks competed in the three-day, three-round tournament and took 14th place with 933 shots (313-313-307). Costner, who led the team throughout the event, shot a 73 in the final round to tie for 13th, with a three-day total of 225.
The Derby Invitational presented KU’s final challenge of the fall. Inclement weather shortened The Derby to a two-round, 36-hole event. The Jayhawks took 15th place, two spots ahead of Big 12 rival Texas. Once again, Costner led the team, tying for 39th with a two-round total of 156. Gockel shot a 76 in the second round, the lowest individual total of the tournament for Kansas. She went on to finish in a tie for 75th place.
“The fall season was a good learning experience since so many freshmen were in the line-up,” O’Neil said. “I think that we will be able to build on what we learned in the fall and continue to have success in the spring.”
The spring season began south of the border in Ensenada, Mexico, at the Baja Invitational. The tournament was shortened from two to three rounds due to a fog delay, but the Jayhawks managed to shoot a combined score of 639 (322-317), and finished tied for ninth place.
The Jayhawks next traveled to Destin, Fla., for the Chrysler Challenge hosted by Florida State. Senior Amanda Costner carded a four-over 75 in the final round, the team’s best one-round score at the tournament, to tie for 22nd place. KU tied for seventh place with a three-round total of 967 (323-328-316).
The Betsy Rawls Invitational in Austin, Texas, was the Jayhawks’ next destination. Costner sparked the team with a 15th place finish after carding a 76 in the final round. The Jayhawks finished in 11th place with a three-day total of 943.
Kansas found itself in Tucson, Ariz., at the MountainView Collegiate hosted by Colorado. Freshman Emily Powers shot a final round and career-best 69, while senior Amanda Costner carded a season-best 70 as KU tied for fourth. The Jayhawks’ final round total of 286 tied for the second-best round of the tournament and vaulted KU from sixth-place (after two rounds) into a fourth-place tie with Missouri at 874 for the three-day event.
The KU women’s golf team completed the regular season at the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic hosted by Oklahoma. The team finished fourth for the second consecutive tournament and shot a three-round total of 884. Costner fired a 70 in the second round, as well as a 72 in the final round, to tie for 10th place at one-over par, 217.
With another successful season under their belt, the Jayhawks will look to keep moving forward next season.
“We have a young group of girls, and I am excited about the future,” O’Neil said. “They are all competitive and hard-working. I think we will just do better and better.”