Kiawah Island, S.C. – The No. 5 Virginia women’s golf team continued its impressive start to the 2021 season with a runner-up finish at the Palmetto Intercollegiate in Kiawah Island, S.C.
So far this season, the Hoos have finished first, third and second in their first three tournaments. It marks the first time in the 18-year history of the program that UVA has started a season with three consecutive top-three finishes.
Virginia shot 6-over 294 on Monday to take the runner-up trophy with a three-day total of 38-over 902. UVA’s final-round score was the second lowest of the day. Wake Forest captured the team title at 10-over 874.
“The challenging course conditions and weather really hit us hard early in the first round,” said Virginia coach Ria Scott. “After going pretty low in our first couple of events, it took us some time to adjust to the concept that a good score here is going to be over par.”
A trio of Cavaliers posted top-10 finishes to lead UVA. Senior Beth Lillie (Fullerton, Calif.) was Virginia’s top finisher at 4-over 220 to place fourth. She was one of just three players in the field to play the final 36 holes under par. Her finished marked the 11th time during her career she has posted a top-10 result from a tournament.
Sophomore Virginia Bossi (Como, Italy) and junior Riley Smyth (Cary, N.C.) tied for ninth place at 9-over 225. Bossi posted a final-round score of 73 and Smyth shot 74. Bossi’s finish was her best tournament showing as a collegiate and Smyth’s was her fifth all-time top-10 outing.
Freshman Jennifer Cleary (Wilmington, Del.) was 31st at 232 while sophomore Celeste Valinho (Jacksonville, Fla.) placed 35th at 235. Both players shot 76 during the final round.
“We are very proud of this team for their fortitude over the past couple of days and on this 12-day road trip,” Scott said. “Virginia Bossi played steady all week. She had a great mindset and approach and moved on quickly from errors and challenges. Beth’s mental game and love for the game is the strongest I’ve seen it. Everyone stepped up today – both with their physical and mental games – and we are so proud of them.”
UVA will tee it up against Richmond and ODU in a one-day stroke play event at Spring Creek Golf Club in the team’s next outing on March 5.
Turtle Point Golf Course
Kiawah Island, S.C.
Par 72, 6,021 yards
1. Wake Forest 299-288-287-874
2. Virginia 304-304-294-902
3. Duke 302-306-295-903
4. Clemson 310-294-295-904
5. Furman 304-308-297-909
6. Virginia Tech 307-294-299-910
7. East Carolina 300-303-315-918
8. Col. of Charleston 303-316-305-924
9. North Carolina 313-315-311-939
10. NC State 321-297-324-942
11. Indiana 322-319-326-967
1. Rachel Kuehn, Wake Forest 73-74-69-216
2. Lauren Walsh, Wake Forest 77-68-72-217
3. Erica Shepherd, Duke 71-75-73-219
4. Beth Lillie 77-72-71-220
9. Virginia Bossi 78-74-73-225
9. Riley Smyth 72-79-74-225
31. Jennifer Cleary 77-79-76-232
35. Celeste Valinho 78-81-76-235