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Friday November 26th

UNC women's golf finishes tied for 13th at Gamecock Intercollegiate

<p>UNC sophomore Jennifer Zhou takes a practice swing at the Ruth's Chris Tar Heel Invitational on Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. UNC placed sixth out of 18 teams at the three day tournament. Zhou finished 5th place overall, her second best in her collegiate career.&nbsp;</p>
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UNC sophomore Jennifer Zhou takes a practice swing at the Ruth's Chris Tar Heel Invitational on Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. UNC placed sixth out of 18 teams at the three day tournament. Zhou finished 5th place overall, her second best in her collegiate career. 

At the three-day Gamecock Intercollegiate in Columbia, S.C., the North Carolina women’s golf team totaled 892 points, resulting in 13th-place finish out of the 18 teams that participated.

What happened?

On Monday, the Tar Heels scored a total of 290 points, placing them in a tie with Wake Forest for sixth place. First-year Nicole Adam shot an opening-round 69, tying five other golfers with the best score of the day. Joining her in the top-20 was junior Jennifer Zhou, who shot an even 72. Sophomores Kayla Smith and Krista Junkkari also chipped in solid performances, shooting opening-round scores of 74 and 75, respectively.

On Tuesday, North Carolina scored 301 points, dropping the team into a tie for eighth place with Vanderbilt. The Tar Heels' best round came from Zhou, who shot a 73, bringing her overall position to 19th. After leading the field on Monday, Adam turned in a score of 74, which lowered her to ninth on the leaderboard. Junkkari turned in the team's third-best best score of the day with a 76.

To conclude the tournament, UNC totaled 301 points once again on Wednesday, but other teams emerged to solidify the Tar Heels' 13th-place finish. Adam shot a 73 to bring her final total to 216, which placed her into a tie for  sixth among individual competitors. Zhou shot a final-round 74, locking her into 20th. Smith (226 points), Junkkari (233 points), and first-year Natalia Aseguinolaza (236 points) placed 56th, 82nd and 87th, respectively, out of 96 participants.

Who stood out? 

Adam and Zhou were the leading contributors for the Tar Heels, shooting three-day scores of 216 and 219, respectively. After turning in Monday's best round, Adam maintained her position in the top ten for the rest of the tournament, ultimately finishing individual play in a tie for sixth.

Zhou was also among the tournament's top golfers, as she finished individual play tied for 20th.

When was it decided?

Although the Tar Heels leapt out to a strong start, they were unable to continue their solid play in the final two days of the tournament. Once other teams started to pass UNC on the leaderboard, it was difficult to regain positioning in the top half.

Why does it matter?

In just three tournaments thus far, the Tar Heels have yet to hit their stride. Last week, the team placed in 9th out of 11 teams at the Palmetto Spring Invitational, and the week prior, finished 14th out of 18 teams at the Moon Golf Invitational. 

Despite struggling in previous weeks, the team demonstrated a few areas of growth throughout the tournament. With an abundance of youth on the roster, these improvements could have the team trending in the right direction with postseason play right around the corner.

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels will have a week to rest before traveling to Charleston, S.C. to begin the two-day Briar Creek Invitational on March 15.  

@guin_grace

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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