KU Women’s Golf Finishes Strong on Day One of NCAA Championship

NCAA Championship
Tulsa Country Club//Tulsa, Okla.
Par 70 // 6,194 yards
Senior Thanuttra Boonraksasat
Team Leaderboard Thru 1 Round Par 280
Team Score
1 Oklahoma 288 (+8)
2 UCLA 291 (+11)
T3 Duke 293 (+13)
T3 Southern California 293 (+13)
T3 Arizona State 293 (+13)
6 California 296 (+16)
7 Arizona 298 (+18)
T8 Washington 299 (+19)
T8 Ohio State 299 (+19)
10 Stanford 300 (+20)
11 South Carolina 301 (+21)
12 Mississippi State 302 (+22)
T13 Tulane 303 (+23)
T13 Vanderbilt 303 (+23)
T13 Virginia 303 (+23)
T16 Alabama 305 (+25)
T16 Florida 305 (+25)
T16 Texas A&M 305 (+25)
T16 Campbell 305 (+25)
T16 Michigan State 305 (+25)
T16 Northwestern 305 (+25)
22 Iowa State 306 (+26)
23 North Carolina State 307 (+27)
24 Kansas 313 (+33)
Individual Leaderboard Thru 1 Round Par 70
Place Name Team Score
T1 Doris Chen Southern California 67 (-3)
T1 Tonje Daffinrud (Individual) Denver 67 (-3)
T1 Lauren Kim Stanford 67 (-3)
4 Alexandra Kaui Oklahoma 68 (-2)
T5 Allyssa Ferrell Michigan State 69 (-1)
T5 Noemi Jimenez Arizona State 69 (-1)
T5 Kaylin Yost Campbell 69 (-1)
Kansas Leaderboard Thru 1 Round Par 70
Place Name Score
T28 Minami Levonowich 74 (+4)
T54 Thanuttra “Fhong” Boonraksasat 76 (+6)
T102 Meghan Potee 80 (+10)
T122 Yupaporn “Mook” Kawinpakorn 83 (+13)
126 Pornvipa “Faii” Sakdee 89 (+19)

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TULSA – Kansas women’s golf overcame nerves and gusty winds from the front nine to the back nine on the opening day of the 2014 NCAA Championship at Tulsa Country Club Tuesday.
In just its second NCAA Championship appearance, Kansas shaved off 26 strokes from its front nine score to its back nine total. KU’s first trip to the championship occurred in 1990, before any current Jayhawk was born. KU not only battled opening-round jitters but the strong south winds ranged from 25-35 miles per hour with gusts at 40-plus. Counting all five scorecards, Kansas shot +39 on the front nine and a +13 on the back nine. The Jayhawks ended the day at 313 (+33) and are in 24th place in the 24-team field on the 6,194-yard, par-70 course. In college golf, only the top four scores of the five competitors are counted toward the team score each round.
“We definitely played a lot better on the back (nine),” KU head coach Erin O’Neil said. “We got off to a shaky start, took a few too many doubles (bogies). It might have been a little bit of nerves and the wind compounded that. We made some bad shots look worse and had a couple of bad breaks here and there.”
KU junior Minami Levonowich was solid throughout her round shooting a 4-over 74. Like her teammates, Levonowich improved with a 1-over on the back nine after a 3-over on the front. Her 74 is tied for 30th in the 126-golfer field.
“She played steady all day,” O’Neil said of Levonowich’s performance. “She was down the fairway every time I saw her. With the wind like it was today, it can get under your skin and make you hit the panic button. She did a good job of staying patient and going with the flow.”
Levonowich, from Hilton Head, South Carolina, agreed with her head coach, noting how important it was for her to maintain her patience.
“We’re used to wind but it played tough today,” Levonowich said. “I was fighting for every single shot, staying committed and taking my time. The main thing was to stay patient on this course. It played tough.”
Two strokes behind Levonowich is KU senior Thanuttra “Fhong” Boonraksasat, who shot a 76 (+6). Fhong birdied the 12th hole and was 1-over on the back nine. She is tied for 54th heading into the second of four rounds on Wednesday. KU’s season scoring leader at 74.4 strokes per round, Yupaporn “Mook” Kawinpakorn ended her day with an 83 (+13). The sophomore was 5-over on the back nine which was three strokes better than her front nine.
Jayhawk senior Meghan Potee was 9-over par through her first six holes and then settled down with a 1-over in her last 12 holes. Included was a birdie two on the 12th hole. Freshman Pornvipa “Faji” Sadkee had KU’s best improvement, nine strokes, from the front nine to the back, carding an 89.
“Everybody settled down and saw the day was going to be a tough one,” O’Neil said. “The wind has a way of making bad shots look worse and good shots look bad and you have to be mentally tough. We’ve now played the course three times and definitely learned from today. We’ll have even a better game plan going into tomorrow.”
Kansas is seven strokes behind Big 12 foe Iowa State at 306 (+26). KU, ISU and Virginia will be paired for the second straight day when they tee off on hole No. 10 at 12:56 p.m. (Central) Wednesday. Virginia is tied for 16th after a scoring a 303 (+23). Big 12 member Oklahoma leads the championship after shooting a 288 (+8), three strokes ahead of second-place UCLA at 291 (+?11).
Denver’s Tonje Daffinrud, Stanford’s Lauren Kim and USC’s Doris Chen are in a three-way tie for the lead after shooting 3-under 67 Tuesday. In all, there are 10 golfers at even par or better heading into Wednesday’s second round.
At the NCAA Central Regional, May 8-10 at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Oklahoma, Kansas shot a first-day 310 and was in 16th place in the 24-team field. KU shot a 290 on day two, leaping into 10th spot and its 300 in the final round tied the Jayhawks for fifth, qualifying them for the NCAA Championship.
“I feel like as a team we are very good at making strong comebacks,” Levonowich said. “We have really good players and I know we are going to come back. We are just as good as the other teams. I have full confidence in us.”
Live scoring from the NCAA Championship is at www.golfstat.com and one can also follow KU via twitter at @KUWomensGolf.
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