Jayhawks post second-straight Top Five finish by taking fourth at the Ron Moore Intercollegiate
DENVER, Colo. – On the final day of action of the Ron Moore Intercollegiate, the cold and windy conditions didn’t rattle the Jayhawks as they put together a strong showing en route to finishing in fourth place at the par-72, 6,513 yards Highlands Ranch Golf Course. Kansas shot a 291 (+3) on Sunday and finished with a three day score of 883 (+19) to claim a top-five finish for the second-consecutive tournament.
With two players in the top-20, KU stayed within reach of UC Davis and Tulsa to secure head coach Erin O’Neil’s 59th career top-5 finish.
KU was able to get strong rounds from junior Yi-Tsen Chou who led the Jayhawks in scoring for the second time this season. She matched her total combined birdies from the first two days by sinking four on the back nine alone in the final round of action and finished with five on the day. She recorded a 70 (-2) on Sunday and finished with a three-day score of 217 (+1) on her way to an eighth place finish. Chou has now finished in the top-10 six times in her three seasons as a Jayhawk.
After shooting a pair of 74s in the first two rounds, senior Ariadna Fonseca Diaz used a 1-under effort on the back nine to help her secure a tie for 17th place. She collected ten birdies in the tournament and recorded a score of 221 (+5).
Freshman Pear Pooratanaopa bounced back in a big way from day two as she recorded a score of 1-under on the front nine, and finished her solid day by staying even on her last eight holes with one double bogey being the only blemish on her scorecard. Pooratanaopa tied for 25th place and she concluded the tournament with a score of 223 (+7).
Senior Chomchana Phuchanbanchob’s play on the back nine kept her from moving up the leaderboard as she carded five bogeys after the turn, on her way to a tie for 37th place. Junior Sera Tadokoro shot her best round of the weekend (75, +3) as she stayed even through eight holes on the back nine, before a bogey brought her to 3-over on the day for a four-way tie for 44th place.
An additional Jayhawk represented the individual spot which does not impact the final team score. Redshirt freshman Aristelle Acuff, making her collegiate debut at the tournament, shot a 224 (+25) over the weekend and finished in a tie for 86th place.
HEAD COACH ERIN O’NEIL
Q: What are your impressions of how the team played over the past three days?
ERIN O’NEIL: It was great to see different people step up this week. I think it was a big factor in us staying in the top five. We did a good job of hanging in there each round and were able to get ourselves back on track relatively quickly without letting any big numbers happen. Our chipping also looked better, but we still need to work on our putting before our next event
Q. Have you noticed any specific areas of improvement since the start of the season?
ERIN O’NEIL: We have definitely seen good progress in our course management and mental games, in particular since the start of the season.
- The Jayhawks posted a three-day score of 883 (+19), identical to the score they recorded in their first tournament of the season, the Minnesota Invitational.
- Before the season, junior Yi-Tsen Chou had carded only one round of 70 or lower, this season she’s already done it three times.
- It’s almost four years to the date when the Jayhawks last played in the Ron Moore Intercollegiate (Oct 10-12, 2014) where they also recorded a top-five finish, placing in second. Additionally, the Jayhawks posted a strikingly similar score four years later being one stroke off of the 2014-15’s squad 884 (+20) performance.
- Ariadna Fonseca Diaz recorded a three-day score of 221, which marks her best score since the 2016-17 season where she posted a score of 212.
Kansas will return to action October 22-23 when it travels to the Palmetto Intercollegiate in Palmetto, S.C.
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