Wilmington, NC –
The 13th-ranked Virginia women’s golf team used a hot start Friday morning to bounce back during the final round of the NCAA Championships and place 13th in the 24-team field. It was UVa’s third consecutive appearance at the NCAA’s and the fourth in the seven-year history of the program. The Cavaliers have managed to finish in the top-15 in every one of their NCAA Championship appearances.
Purdue held off a last-day rally by USC to claim its first NCAA title at 1-over 1,153. The Trojans were second at 1,154. Alabama placed third at 5-over 1,157. Oklahoma State’s Caroline Hedwall won medalist honors at 12-under 276. She shot back-to-back 68s during the final two rounds.
After shooting 19-over 307 during Thursday’s third round, the Cavaliers posted a final round score of 4-over 292 on the Country Club of Landfall Course in Wilmington, N.C. UVa’s four-day total was 32-over 1,184. UVa’s final score was its lowest ever in four NCAA Championship appearances.
Virginia was led by freshman Brittany Altomare who placed 15th overall at 1-over 289. She shot 2-under 70 Friday during a round that saw here post six birdies. She had a total of 15 birdies during the 72-hole tournament. Her finish was the third best by a Cavalier at the NCAA Championships. Leah Wigger was the runner up in 2005 and Calle Nielson placed sixth in 2009.
“Last night I thought about it a lot and I wanted to come out and really play aggressive and attack the course and that’s what I did,” Altomare said. “The first six holes I didn’t have a putt outside of 15 feet. I know I have the game, so I just went out there and tried to play my best. I know I made a few mistakes because with six birdies, I should have finished a little more under par.”
Altomare was part of a hot start for Virginia that saw the Cavaliers finish the round’s first two holes at 5-under par.
“It was very exciting to have a start like that,” said UVa coach Kim Lewellen. “We had nothing to lose, so they went out there with that type of attitude. Those were holes you could make birdies on, so it was good we took advantage of them and got a little bit of a cushion. That helped. To finish at four over on a championship course is not a bad score.”
Virginia freshman Nicole Agnello was the Cavaliers’ second highest finisher in 50th place. She posted a 3-over 75 during the final round to finish at 9-over 297 for the tournament.
Joy Kim shot even par 72 during the final round to finish 61st at 12-over 300. Calle Nielson was 76th overall at 302 and Lauren Greenlief was 99th at 306. Both Nielson and Greenlief shot 75 during the final round.
“To be honest, I think we would have all have liked to have done a little bit better,” Lewellen said. “We played three days well and had one very poor day. If we had just knocked a few strokes off during that third round, we would have been in the hunt and finished where I felt we could have finished.
“Saying that, we went from being a young team to an older, experienced team this week. Next year they will be experienced and I look forward to seeing how this group will do next season.”
The Cavalier lineup at the NCAA included two freshmen (Altomare and Agnello) a redshirt freshman (Greenlief) and two juniors (Kim and Nielson). NCAA Championships
Country Club of Landfall
Par 72, 6,368 yards
1. Purdue 284-294-280-295-1153
2. USC 282-288-295-289-1154
3. Alabama 289-288-294-286-1157
4. Arizona State 288-293-290-290-1161
5. Arizona 296-286-293-291-1166
6. UCLA 288-292-302-287-1169
7. Vanderbilt 296-292-291-291-1170
8. Duke 288-303-300-288-1179
8. Oklahoma State 295-294-296-294-1179
10. Florida State 289-302-294-297-1182
11. Auburn 293-296-295-299-1183
11. Texas A@M 297-302-286-298-1183
13. Virginia 294-291-307-292-1184
14. South Carolina 300-297-293-296-1186
14. Pepperdine 297-306-288-295-1186
16. New Mexico 303-296-295-295-1189
16. Texas 299-296-300-294-1189
18. Tulane 311-292-297-293-1193
19. TCU 292-308-295-304-1199
19. Tennessee 297-307-300-295-1199
19. Stanford 300-307-302-290-1199
22. Kent State 307-305-297-291-1200
23. Oregon 302-309-313-294-1218
23. San Jose State 298-310-313-297-1218 Individual Leaders
1. Caroline Hedwall, Oklahoma State 70-70-68-68-276
2. Jennifer Johnson, Arizona State 67-70-70-73-280
3. Cydney Clanton, Auburn 72-71-72-66-281
3. Maude-Aimee LeBlanc, Purdue 67-73-70-71-281
5. Megan McChrystal, LSU 72-71-76-64-283
5. Jennifer Song, USC 67-71-72-73-283
7. Jennifer Kirby, Alabama 75-70-70-69-284
7. Margarita Ramos, Arizona 71-69-74-70-284 Virginia Results
15. Brittany Altomare 70-75-74-70-289
50. Nicole Agnello 74—70-78-75-297
61. Joy Kim 77-75-76-72-300
76. Calle Nielson 73-73-81-75-302
99. Lauren Greenlief 79-73-79-75-306