UVA Repeats as ACC Champs & Coughlin Wins
April 17, 2016
Greensboro, N.C. – The 18th-ranked Virginia women’s golf team held off Wake Forest in the final round of the ACC Championships to repeat as league champions. UVA senior Lauren Coughlin (Chesapeake, Va.) made it a sweep for the Cavaliers by winning the individual crown in dramatic fashion on the final hole of the 54-hole championship that was held at the Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro.
Coughlin realizing a career goal of winning the ACC title turned out to be her second most exciting moment of the day.
With three of its golfers finishing in the top five of the individual leaderboard, Virginia posted a team score of 855, 11 strokes better than the second-place Demon Deacons and 28 shots ahead of third-place Duke.
Coughlin picked up medalist honors for the first time in her career, finishing at 9-under 207. Her final 18-hole score of 70 was her third-straight tournament round under par, which included 16 birdies.
“I love the golf course,” Coughlin said. “Last year I had a very good game plan and so I stayed with it. I was hitting the ball really well coming into this week and I was able to hit it well throughout the tournament and I was putting really well. It all came together, all at the right time.”
“I’m thrilled to death! So happy,” Virginia head coach Kim Lewellen said on her team’s second-straight ACC title. “For my first-years to do what they did, I’m obviously excited for all of my veterans and Lauren Coughlin in particular for medalist, but to have my first years do what they did is exciting for the future of the program. I’m thrilled with the whole team effort to do what we did to win this championship.”
Coughlin came to the 18th green tied with Wake Forest freshman Jennifer Kupcho for the individual lead at 8-under par. After hitting her drive 290 yards on the par-5, 486-yard hole, Coughlin went with a four-hybrid club to reach the green in two and stripped her shot within seven feet of the cup. She two-putted for birdied to become the second Cavalier to capture the ACC individual crown, joining Brittany Altomare, the 2013 champion. Kupcho finished the hole with a bogey.
“I almost hit more club and I’m really glad that I didn’t,” Coughlin said. “I had 195 or so and I played it at 180. I hit it better than I even thought I could. It drew in right where I wanted it to and it ended up really good.”
“She is a phenomenal ball striker,” Lewellen said. “She knew exactly where to play that middle of the green and knew it was going to roll back. I honestly knew she was going to pull that shot off. She has done it all year. She has been so close to winning so many championships and this is the one she wanted the most. Darned if she didn’t do it the last day.”
Kupcho tied for second with Demon Deacon teammate Sierra Sims, who also carded a 7-under 209 for the tournament.
Adding Cavalier presence to the top of the leaderboard were junior Lauren Diaz-Yi (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), who finished fourth with a 2-under 214, and freshman Anna Redding (Concord, N.C.), who tied for fifth with NC State’s Naomi Ko and North Carolina’s Leslie Cloots with an even-par 216 total. It was Redding’s best collegiate finish.
UVA senior Elizabeth Szokol (Winnetka, Ill.) and freshman Morgan Gonzales (Chandler, Ariz.) tied for 14th place at 5-over 221. Szokol shot 71 during the final round and Gonzales finished with an even par 72.
Gonzales’ status for the tournament was up in the air earlier in the week when she checked into a local emergency room in Charlottesville after running a temperature of 103 degrees.
“I thought I had a viral infection and it turned out it was the flu,” she said. “When my temperature dropped down to 101 they let me go home. The past few days I took a lot of Advil. There was no way I was going to miss this.”
Wake Forest’s second-place finish was its best since 2010, when it captured the team title. Duke (883) was third, followed by North Carolina (884)
During the presentation of the championship trophy, Lewellen asked Coughlin’s long-time boyfriend, John Pond, a former UVA football player, to join the ceremony. He took the microphone, dropped to a knee and asked Coughlin to marry him and then placed an engagement ring on her finger to the delight of her teammates and the surrounding gallery.
“In the back of my head I think I knew something was going to happen if I did win,” Coughlin said. “It was better than I could have imagined.”
In addition to playing for the ACC title, for the first time a point was at stake between UVA and Virginia Tech towards the Commonwealth Clash. This is the Hokies first time competing at the ACC Championships. They finished the tournament in 12th. The Cavaliers’ first-place finish pushes UVA’s lead in the Clash to 10-5.
The Commonwealth Clash presented by Virginia529 is a head-to-head, points-based competition between the athletic teams at University of Virginia and Virginia Tech. The Commonwealth Clash encourages a friendly, statewide rivalry between the two schools across all school-sponsored sports with 21 individual event points on the line. The school that accumulates 11 points or more will be crowned the winner and take home the Virginia529 Commonwealth Clash trophy. Visit www.TheCommonwealthClash.com for more information and updated standings.
Sedgefield Country Club
Par-72, 6,089 yards
Team Results 1. Virginia 283-290-282-855 2. Wake Forest 294-285-287-866 3. Duke 294-296-293-883 4. North Carolina 298-300-286-884 5. NC State 297-297-292-886 6. Clemson 298-299-297-894 7. Louisville 311-295-292-898 8. Miami 301-301-297-899 9. Florida State 299-307-295-90110. Notre Dame 310-299-295-90411. Boston College 304-309-310-92312. Virginia Tech 320-310-322-952
Individual Leaders1. Lauren Coughlin, Virginia 66-71-70-2072. Jennifer Kupcho, Wake Forest 66-74-69-2092. Sierra Sims, Wake Forest 76-66-67-2093. Lauren Diaz-Yi, Virginia 71-70-73-214
Virginia Results 1. Lauren Coughlin 66-71-70-207 4. Lauren Diaz-Yi 71-70-73-214 5. Anna Redding 72-75-69-21614. Elizabeth Szokol 76-74-71-22114. Morgan Gonzales 74-75-72-221="http:>="http:>="http:>="http:>="http:>="http:>="http:>