WICHITA FALLS, Texas – Western Washington University junior golfer Jenn Paul got off to a blistering start in the final round of the NCAA Division II Women’s Golf West Regional on Wednesday at Wichita Falls Country Club, but had a tough back nine to narrowly miss one of three individual qualifying spots for the NCAA II Championships.
Paul (Bellingham, WA) carded three birdies on the front nine to move into the top 5 in the 66-player field, but for the third consecutive round had a tough back nine with three bogeys and two double-bogeys to complete the round. Overall in the tournament Paul played the front nine at 3-under-par, while she was 15-over-par on the back nine.
“Jenn is disappointed with the way that she finished the tournament today, but I'm proud of the way she hung in there,” said head coach Bo Stephan. “Overall she had a good tournament. She knew what she needed to do today when she teed off and went out and played a great front nine. The back nine was tough for her all three days, and today was no exception.”
Paul finished the 54-hole tournament in a six-way tie for 16th place at +12 (77-75-76=228) on the Par 72, 6,149-yard course. It is the highest regional finish by a Viking since Sophie Elstrott placed 2nd at the 2011 NCAA II West Super Regional in Canyon, Texas.
Playing as one of six individuals in the regional field, Paul was in contention to earn a spot in the NCAA Division II Women’s Golf Championships that will be held May 17-20 at Findlay Country Club in Findlay, Ohio. The top three individuals not on one of the top three finishing teams in the regional (West Texas A&M, Dallas Baptist, St. Mary’s TX) receive a bid to the NCAA Championships.
The cutoff score was +10 for the individual qualifiers, with Tarleton State’s Casey Wild (+7, 223), Cal State Monterey Bay’s Linnea Karlsson (+8, 224) and Colorado Christian’s Abigail Rigsby (+10, 226) advancing to nationals. Rigsby claimed the final individual spot winning a one-hole playoff over Regis’ Mary Weinstein. Paul was part of a group of seven players that were two or fewer shots back of the qualifying score.
Regina Gonzalez of St. Mary’s (TX) won individual medalist honors finishing the tournament at +6 (222). West Texas A&M (+33, 897) recorded a two-stroke team victory over second-place Dallas Baptist (+35, 899).
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