Tadokoro wins Cardinal Cup; Jayhawks finish 5th overall

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Junior Sera Tadokoro was an unstoppable force at the Louisville Cardinal Cup Sunday afternoon, as she took down the entire field on her way to her first-career tournament victory and a Jayhawk fifth-place team finish.

Tadokoro has been the Jayhawks’ most consistent player all fall, steadily getting better with each stroke and never losing her cool when things got tough.

“I am just so excited, happy and proud of myself!” Tadokoro exclaimed. “I was just having fun with my friends and not thinking about my scores. I also did not look at the leaderboard at all, just to keep my pressure down.”

All of her progress this season has been leading up to this moment, as she ends the fall campaign on the highest note possible with a first-place finish.

"We are very proud of Sera. She has worked hard on all parts of her game and to make her weaknesses her strengths. She’s hitting the ball as good as I’ve ever seen her, and her mental game has also improved. I believe this is just the beginning for her and that we will see her accomplish even more during her career. "

Erin O'Neil, Head Coach

Tadokoro was on a roll during the final round and was not about to surrender her first collegiate victory, carding five birdies and only one bogey. She shot 4-under par 68 on the day, which is the lowest round of her career, and was enough to make her overall score 8-under par 208 through all three rounds.

“I was very comfortable with my game and I had confidence all fall,” said Tadokoro. “I knew some day it was going to be my turn to win the tournament and I am so happy that I got the victory on this last tournament.”

Tadokoro becomes the first Jayhawk to win a tournament since Yupaporn “Mook” Kawinpakorn placed first in the Texas Tech Invitational on April 8-9, 2016.

Sophomore Pear Pooratanaopa was also on a roll for the Jayhawks, shooting a personal-best 5-under par 67 in the final round to secure a sixth-place finish, which is also the highest finish of her collegiate career.

“Pear had a great finish as well,” said O’Neil. “I loved seeing her not give up after a tough first round. She’s hitting the ball farther and it’s giving her more opportunities for birdies. She has such a good mentality on the course, loves to compete, and I think it’s just a matter of time before she takes some hardware home.”

Senior Yi-Tsen Chou, freshman Ying-Ting Hsieh, junior Aristelle Acuff  and sophomore Abby Glynn all had their progress halted after a bogey-filled first round and were not able to recover during the remaining two rounds.

As a team, Kansas wrapped up the fall season with a fifth-place finish, its second-best of the season (4th at Sunflower Invitational – Sept. 15-16).

"It was great to finish the fall with a top-5 finish and an individual win. Hopefully it shows the team that they have the ability to do great things if they put in the work during the offseason. In particular, to have a purpose and intention every time we practice, especially when they practice on their own. We have to do a better job of that moving forward."

Erin O'Neil, Head Coach

The Jayhawks return to action for the spring campaign at the Moon Golf Invitational in Melbourne, Florida on Feb. 17-18.