May 9, 2018
Madison, Wisc. – After a one-year absence, the No. 31 Virginia women’s golf team is returning to the NCAA Championships. UVA earned one of six spots available from the NCAA Regional site in Madison, Wis. by placing second in the 18-team field. UVA shot 1-over 289 on Wednesday (May 9) for a 54-hole total of 5-under 859.
The top six teams from four regional championship fill the 24 spots available for the national championship tournament. Joining UVA in the NCAA Championship field from the Madison Regional are No. 4 Duke (-14/851), No. 6 USC (-2/861), No. 12 Arizona State (-1/863), No. 44 Ohio State (-1/863) and No. 13 Northwestern (E/864).
The NCAA Championships are scheduled for May 18-23 at the Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla. Virginia is making its 10th appearance at the NCAA Championship in the 15-year history of the program.
Tuesday, under a threat of inclement weather, the tournament used a shotgun start for the final 18 holes. Virginia’s players started their rounds on holes one through four.
“The conditions this morning were really tough,” said UVA coach Kim Lewellen. “Coming down the stretch, when they knew they might be on the bubble, they finished with a lot of birdies and showed what type of players and competitors they are. That showed the grit they have.”
UVA’s four scoring players combined to collect five birdies and no bogies over their closing holes and overtook USC for second place.
Junior Morgan Gonzales (Chandler, Ariz.), who stood 4-over after 12 holes, picked up critical back-to-back birdies on holes 17 and 18. Freshman Beth Lillie (Fullerton, Calif.) and junior Anna Redding (Concord, N.C.) both played the final four holes of the back nine at 1-under par and then Redding, who started her round on No. 3, added a birdie on her final hole.
Lillie and junior Katharine Patrick (Houston, Texas) led UVA by tying for seventh place at 3-under 213. Patrick and Redding posted Virginia’s best final-round scores, finishing with 1-under 71 performances. Redding improved to 18th place at even par 216.
Gonzales shot 74 during the final round and was 30th at 218. Sophomore Julia Ford (Shrewsbury, Mass.) was 77th at 231. She shot 79 on Wednesday.
“This group has done a nice job of showing improvement over the last few tournaments of the season and they shot some of our lowest scores of the season when we needed them the most,” Lewellen said. “I am excited for them to make it to the finals.”
Virginia used an opening round score of 9-under 279 to take the early lead at the Regional. It was the lowest single-round score ever posted by a UVA team in NCAA regional play. The Cavaliers followed that up with a 3-over 291 during the second round to enter Tuesday’s final day of play in second place.
The NCAA Championships feature 72 holes of stroke play before the field is narrowed to eight teams for match play. In UVA’s last NCAA appearance in 2016, the Cavaliers reached match play and finished fifth overall. UVA’s top NCAA team finishes were back-to-back fourth-place showings in 2011 and 2012. The top individual finish by a Cavalier at the NCAA Championships was the runner-up performance by Leah Wigger at the 2005 event.
University Ridge Golf Course
Par-72, 6,313 yards
Team Results 1. Duke 283-279-288-850 2. Virginia 279-291-289-859 3. USC 285-289-288-861 4. Ohio State 293-284-286-863 4. Northwestern 294-283-286-863 4. Arizona State 288-286-289-863 7. Illinois 292-285-289-866 8. Oregon State 289-285-294-868 9. Wisconsin 290-293-291-87410. Iowa State 295-286-297-87811. Purdue 298-286-296-88012. Campbell 298-290-298-88612. Notre Dame 299-297-290-88614. Idaho 306-297-302-90514. Old Dominion 295-295-315-90516. Murray State 307-302-303-91217. North Dakota State 315-298-313-92618. IUPUI 313-307-309-929
Individual Leaders1. Nicole Schroeder, Oregon State 68-66-72-2062. Jaclyn Lee, Ohio State 71-68-69-2082. Leona Maguire, Duke 74-65-69-208
Virginia Results 7. Beth Lillie 67-73-73-213 7. Katharine Patrick 69-73-71-21318. Anna Redding 70-75-71-21630. Morgan Gonzales 73-71-74-21877. Julia Ford 78-74-79-231