⛳️ Jayhawks Conclude Season at NCAA Regional
ATHENS, Ga. – A valiant effort came up short as Kansas women’s golf’s season ended Wednesday after the final round of the 2023 NCAA Women’s Golf Athens Regional at the UGA Golf Course in Athens, Georgia.
Playing in only its second-ever NCAA Regional as a team, and its first since 2014, KU shot a 292 (+4) Wednesday, the fourth lowest round of the day and its lowest of the three-round event. KU ended in eighth place in the 12-team field with a three-round score of 890 (+26). The top five teams – Georgia (-13), South Carolina (-11), San Jose State (+14), Ole Miss (+17) and Augusta (+21) – from the regional advanced to the NCAA Championship, May 19-24, in Scottsdale, Arizona. Kansas entered the third round seven shots from fifth position. The Jayhawks climbed as close as three shots from contention during the final round but finished the regional five strokes from advancing.
“We got off to a shaky start, probably due to nerves and excitement in wanting to play well, but I am really proud of how we finished,” Kansas head coach Lindsay Kuhle said. “We were 5-under our last 11 holes. We were very resilient and wanted to make KU proud.”
Graduate senior Esme Hamilton and sophomore Lauren Clark led KU for the second straight day as both shot 2-under 70 in the final round. KU started on hole No. 10 Wednesday and Hamilton shot 3-under with three birdies on her back nine. She had six birdies on the day and her three-round 221 (+5) made Hamilton KU’s top finisher as she tied for 20th in the 66-golfer field. Clark went 2-under on her back nine and had four birdies for her round. She ended one shot behind Hamilton with a three-round 222 (+6) which tied for 24th.
“I was really proud of Esme and Lauren shooting 70 and both finishing with birdies on the last hole,” Kuhle said. “Esme shot a 32 on her final nine and really played some solid golf.”
On Wednesday, sophomore Jordan Rothman carded a 3-over 75 that included two birdies, while super senior Abby Glynn shot a 77. Glynn finished with a three-round 225 (+9) which tied for 33rd. Sophomore Johanna Ebner shot a 79 to close out KU’s scoring in the final round.
Georgia’s Jenny Bae won medalist with a three-round 203 (-13), which was six shots ahead of runner-up Louise Rydqvist of South Carolina at 209 (-7). Kent State’s Leon Takagi (213, -3) moved on to the NCAA Championship as the top finisher not on an advancing team.
“I’m proud of our seniors and how they competed for KU and how they competed this week,” Kuhle said of Hamilton and Glynn. “This was very motivating for the four other players that were here to come back even stronger next year. We now know what to expect at this level and we’ll work hard this summer to get back here next year and have another chance. Overall, we gave it our best today and I could not be prouder of this team.”
Here are some notables to Kansas’ 2022-23 season:
- Kansas posted 10 top-10 finishes in 2022-23, four of those in the top five.
- Kansas was an at-large selection for an NCAA Regional for just the second time in school history with the other being in 2014. Before regional play, KU was an at-large selection for the NCAA Championship in 1990.
- Kansas broke the 54-hole school record with an 852 (-12) at the UCF Challenge (Feb. 5-7).
- Kansas broke the school record for 18 holes with a 279 (-9) in its final round at the Westbrook Invitational (Feb. 27). The previous record was 280 (-8) set at the same event in 2017.
- Kansas finished second to then-No. 8 Texas in the first-ever Big 12 Match Play Tournament, April 7-9. Scoring 17.0 points in pool play, the Jayhawks were the No. 1 seed entering the semifinals.
- Collectively, individuals posted 39 rounds of par or below par this season.
- Kansas hosted the Marilynn Smith Sunflower Invitational for the first time since 2014. KU finished fourth and the 2022 field included current No. 26 Arizona and No. 42 Kent State.
- Kansas entered the NCAA Regional No. 51 in the Golfstat rankings. KU ended the 2021-22 year ranked No. 79, an improvement of 28 spots from last year to 2022-23.