The UK women’s golf team wrapped up their season Wednesday afternoon at the NCAA Columbus Regional in Columbus, Ohio, as the Cats finished in 16th place out of the 18 teams in the tournament.
The 16th place finish was not good enough to advance the Cats to the NCAA National Championships hosted in Sugar Grove, Illinois on May 19-24. There are four-separate regional tournaments, including the Columbus Regional, and only the top six teams from each regional advance to nationals.
The Columbus Regional featured three days of stroke-play competition on the Scarlet Course at the Ohio State University Golf Club. Six teams ranked in the top-25 of Golfstat’s rankings competed in the Columbus Regional, making it difficult for the Cats to grab one of those top-six spots.
UK got off to a rough start on the first day of competition, posting a score of 326 (38-over par), which was the highest score the Cats have tallied all season. The weather conditions were not ideal for golfing, which resulted in UK’s high score.
“It was a tough day for us,” head coach Golda Johansson Borst told UK Athletics. “The conditions were tough today, but they were tough for everybody. To be honest with you, I just don’t think we handled the mental toughness and the emotional part of it as well as we needed to today.”
The Cats would bounce back in the second and third rounds, posting scores of 311 (23-over par) and 306 (18-over par) to give UK their final score of 943 (79-over par). The Cats finished 35 strokes behind sixth place Michigan, who took the final to the NCAA Championships.
Isabelle Johansson had the best score for the Cats, finishing at nine-over par, good enough to tie for 22nd place. Johansson moved up 11 spots in the third round after finishing at even par on the day.
Grace Rose also had a great final round after the rough start on the first day, posting a one-over par score to finish her 15-over par score for the tournament. Rose moved up 18 spots in the third round after posting scores of 10-over and four-over par in the first two days.
The Cats will surely be disappointed that they won’t be advancing to the NCAA Championships, but the many accomplishments UK achieved this season should outweigh any negativity that comes from the regional finish.
The Cats collected four top-five finishes in tournaments throughout the season, and set a school record for lowest team score in the final round of the Ron Moore Women’s Intercollegiate tournament, posting an 11-under par.
No UK golfer who competed at the Columbus Regional is older than a junior, so the Cats will likely be stronger back next season in hopes of making it to the NCAA Championships.