Chou's big day elevates Jayhawks to top-10 finish at the Minnesota Invitational

Minnesota Invitational
Prestwick Golf Course
| Woodbury, Minn.
Par-72 | 6,479 yards
After 3 Rounds

Place Team Score
1 San Jose State 860 (-4)
2 Virginia Tech 872 (+8)
3 Louisville 873 (+9)
4 East Carolina 874 (+10)
5 Kentucky 880 (+16)
6 Middle Tennessee 881 (+17)
7 Notre Dame 882 (+18)
T8 Oklahoma 883 (+19)
T8 KANSAS 889 (+19)
10 Missouri 886 (+22)
11 North Texas 899 (+35)
12 Rutgers 900 (+36)
13 San Francisco 902 (+38)
14 Minnesota 908 (+44)
15 South Dakota State 909 (+45)
Individual Leaderboard (Top 5)
Place Name Team Score
1 Natasha Andrea Oon SJSU 207 (-9)
2 Emily Mahar VT 213 (-3)
T3 Yi-Tsen Chou KU 214 (-2)
T3 Grace Kellar MINN 214 (-2)
T3 Hanley Long MT 214 (-2)
Kansas Leaderboard
Place Name Score
T3 Yi-Tsen Chou 214 (-2)
T29 Sera Tadokoro 222 (+6)
T50 Phisitkhwan Pooratanaopa 226 (+10)
T55 Annika Cedo  228 (+12)
T60 Xinyun Yu (I)  229 (+13)
T60 Lauren Heinlein 229 (+13)

WOODBURY, Minn.– Kansas women’s golf concluded the Minnesota Invitational on a windy Tuesday afternoon, moving up to an 8th place tie which marks KU’s best finish at the tournament since the 2014-15 season. The Jayhawks finished the week with a two-day score of 883. 
KU was able to finish strong in the three-round event thanks in large part to junior Yi-Tsen Chou’s stellar play. Chou secured herself a finish in the top 5 by carding three clutch birdies on the back nine. Her back-to-back birdies on No. 15 and 16 put her at 2-under-par going into her final nine holes of the competition. Chou finished with a total of six birdies on the day, while she turned in 11 birdies for the tournament, placing her tied for 5thfor most birdies in the tournament. 
“I’m very proud of how Yi-Tsen competed this week,” head coach Erin O’Neil said. “She has been working on her mental game and we could really see a difference in her attitude, how she carried herself on the course, etc. She was much more confident in herself and it showed in how she was able to execute shots under pressure.”
Her three-way tie for third place marks her best finish as a Jayhawk, shooting an impressive 4-under-par on the day and 2-under for the tournament. 
“I tell myself that there are plenty of birdies out there,” Chou said. “I just have to be patient and focus on the process. Today the wind picked up but I really enjoy playing on windy days so I felt comfortable. My irons and hybrids were pretty constant today which really helped me. I made 6 birdies and 68 is my lowest score per round so I’m really happy today.”
Coming off her recent summer success, sophomore Sera Tadokoro remained steady and improved from day one after parring her first four holes following up with a birdie on No. 15. She finished the tournament with six birdies and a score of 6-over par. Tadokoro was second in scoring for the Jayhawks which helped give the team the lowest score of the day with a 291 in the final round. 
“We were very encouraged by what we saw this week, especially in the final round,” O’Neil said. “It was very windy and a lot of the hole locations were in tough spots. To shoot the lowest round of the day in those types of conditions shows that we were mentally tough and ready to compete.”
After recording three birdies on day one, freshman Phisitkhwan “Pear” Pooratannaopa couldn’t get back on track as she bogeyed four times on Tuesday, but ended the final round with a birdie, finishing 6-over on the day and 10-over for the tournament, good for a tie for 50thplace. 
Fellow freshman Lauren Heinlein bounced back from her first two rounds by staying even throughout her first four holes on Tuesday and followed that up with a birdie on No. 16, which put her at four birdies on the day. She finished the day even and with a two-day score of 229 which secured 60thplace. 
Juniors Xinyun Yu and Annika Cedo rounded out the Jayhawks playing in the event, with Yu playing as an individual. Yu had a solid start to the day before bogeying Nos. 3 and 4 finishing 6-over on the day and 13-over for the tournament. Yu also finished tied for 60thwith Heinlein. Cedo, who started the third round by staying even through 11 holes, struggled to improve from yesterday and finished 7-over. 
“A focus for us moving forward will be figuring out what is needed to also have the same mind set we had today every time we tee it up,” O’Neil said. “Overall, we are young team with lots to learn but we played with heart the entire tournament and never gave up.”
 Up Next: The Jayhawks will travel to Greenville, South Carolina for the Lady Paladin Invitational, hosted by Furman University, September 21-23. The event will take place at the Furman University Golf Course. 
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