The North Carolina women’s golf team wrapped up its fall slate with a 14th place finish at the Landfall Tradition in Wilmington, North Carolina this weekend.
The Tar Heels got off to a decent start on Friday, ending the day at four over-292 and finishing in a tie for ninth, however a rough day two saw the team tumble down the order to 15th after going +18 over par 72.
Sunday was substantially better, with all five players ending within five shots of par and the team as a whole finished one shot under with their best score of the weekend. Despite having the sixth best score for the round, the team was only able to enter into a tie with Maryland for 14th in the 18 team event.
Who stood out?
Senior Krista Junkkari finished highest on the individual leaderboard at +3 for the event, which placed her in a tie for 34th among the 96 competing players. Her performance Friday put her near the top of the leaderboard and was her best of the season at five-under par. Fellow senior Kayla Smith came home tied for 38th, just one stroke behind Junkkari.
Riley Quartermain and Vilde Marie Nystrom both used strong Sunday afternoons to come home 62nd and 68th respectively. Megan Streicher was not classified on the individual leaderboard because she did not play on Friday, but her performance on Sunday was the best on the team, as she finished three shots under par.
When was it decided?
The other two rounds placed the team in range to finish between fifth and tenth, but they lost 22 shots to the eventual event winners San Jose State on Saturday, and even compared to most teams in the top ten the difference was upwards of ten shots. This offset one of the better rounds of the season that was turned in on Sunday.
Why does it matter?
While a event win was unrealistic after Friday, Saturday’s performance likely prevented the Tar Heels from challenging for a top five finish.
UNC would’ve liked to have ended the fall campaign a little better, as the program came into the event off the back of a couple strong showings in the Ruth’s Chris invitational and the two day Ivy Intercollegiate event that they won.
As it was, the 14th place showing was the worst for the program since opening the season wih a 16th out of 18 showing at the Cougar Classic in Charleston, South Carolina. The 21-over final tally from this weekend also matches the score in Charleston, though that came from only two days of playing.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels will have to wait until February to bounce back from the relative disappointment of this weekend, with a trip to Guadalajara, Mexico for the two-day Collegiate Invitational serving as the start of the spring portion of the year that features five events prior to the ACC Championship and NCAA Regional play.
With the Landfall Tradition traditionally being an event that North Carolina has struggled in, there is hope that the spring will provide more success for the team. After all, last season’s team had arguably their best rounds of play down the stretch of the spring slate.
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