⛳️ Jayhawks Finish Runner-Up at Big 12 Match Play Tournament Championship
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Kansas women’s golf fell to No. 7 Texas, 4-1-0, in the Big 12 Match Play Tournament championship round Sunday at Kierland Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The Jayhawks entered the Big 12 Match Play Tournament as the No. 7 seed, while Texas was the No. 1 seed in the nine-team field. KU finished pool play No. 1 and defeated No. 12 Baylor in the semifinals Saturday afternoon, winning the match in a tiebreaker. Texas defeated TCU, 3-2-0, to reach the title tilt.
Sunday’s title match was competitive throughout with three matches going down to the final hole. KU super senior Abby Glynn was the lone Jayhawk to win her match, 3&1, over Texas’ Bentley Cotton.
“I know we are disappointed because we had a taste of what it would be like to win,” Kansas head coach Lindsay Kuhle said. “I am proud of them and how hard they are working and how badly they want to win for KU.”
On Friday, Kansas went 0-2-2 tying top-seeded Texas and No. 5 seed Oklahoma State before falling to No. 3 seed Iowa State and No. 6 seed Texas Tech by identical 3-2-0 scores.
“The first day we had the hardest draw with No. 7 Texas and No. 24 Oklahoma State and to tie those matches and get five points was a huge confidence boost for us,” Kuhle said. “That afternoon we lost to Iowa State and Texas Tech but we were still playing well.”
Kansas entered Saturday’s final round of pool play in eighth place with the Jayhawks having scored nine points in four matches on Friday. Then on Saturday morning, the Jayhawks dominated No. 8 seed Oklahoma 5-0-0 and defeated No. 9 seed Kansas State, 3-2-0.
Kansas’ eight points scored Saturday morning vaulted the Jayhawks up to the No. 1 seed heading into bracket play with 17.0 total points which was just ahead of TCU and Texas’ 16.5 points. Kansas’ 5-0 sweep of Oklahoma was the lone sweep in the three pool-play rounds of the Big 12 Match Play Tournament, an event that consisted of 27 head-to-head matches among the league schools.
“The turning point in the tournament was yesterday morning when we beat K-State and Oklahoma and got eight out of 10 points,” Kuhle said. “We’ve been fired up the entire spring season and after some good results here in Arizona, we’ve really come together more as a team, have bought in and are set on accomplishing some of the lofty goals we set last fall.”
In the semifinal match, down one heading to the final hole, KU sophomore Johanna Ebner edged Baylor’s Britta Snyder by one shot to tie her match and make the semifinal battle 2-2-1. Kansas won its two matches against Baylor by a total of 7 up compared to Baylor being 4 up in its two victories, advancing KU to the Big 12 Match Play Championship.
“The girls are excited to compete and they are confident and that showed against Baylor,” Kuhle said. “They fought really hard. Johanna was down and we knew we would win the tiebreaker if Johanna birdied the last hole. She hit a pitch to four feet and made a birdie putt to tie and we won the tiebreaker.”
Individually, Kansas graduate senior Esme Hamilton posted a 5-3-0 record at the Big 12 Match Play Tournament as she won all three of her matches on Saturday. Sophomore Lauren Clark also went 5-3-0 that included winning two of her three battles on Saturday. Sophomore Jordan Rothman won both of her Saturday morning matches and posted a 4-3-1 record, while Glynn went 4-3-1 including her win in the title battle. Ebner, 1-4-1, and freshman Anna Wallin, 0-2-0, split duties during the event.
“To get those three wins yesterday were really big for our program,” Kuhle said. “Today was really special because we were all really confident and playing for a championship and believed we could win.
“We proved that we can compete against some of the best teams in our conference who are some of the best teams in the country,” Kuhle said. “It was a great experience for the girls to feel pressure and how to handle that. I hope they use this for motivation for the next tournament, the Big 12 Championship.”
Kansas will next compete in the Big 12 Championship, April 21-23, at the Dallas Athletic Club, in Dallas.