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North Carolina women's golf looks ahead after finishing ninth in ACC Championship

UNC senior Kayla Smith finished in the top 20 of the standings during the ACC Women's Golf Championship. Photo courtesy of UNC Athletic Communications.

Despite not making the cut for the semifinal round in the ACC Championship, the North Carolina women’s golf team is using the experience to work on its game.

After finishing 30-over par and tied for ninth place, the Tar Heels didn't make the cut for match play at the ACC Championship. But despite the lackluster outcome, smaller victories defined UNC’s outing at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro more than the end result.

First-year Megan Streicher finished tied for 12th with an overall score of two-over par. In the second round of play, she finished two-over par. As a newcomer to the college game, she said she was really happy with her performance in her first ACC Championship appearance and ended play as UNC's top finisher.

Senior Kayla Smith in the top 20 of the standings and junior Crista Izuzquiza finished tied for 24th with a final score of five-over par. While she was the second-to-last finisher for the Tar Heels, several personal achievements made the trip to Greensboro much sweeter.

Izuzquiza eagled two holes on Friday to finish with a score of six-under par in the third round of play, marking a career-best round and tying the lowest scoring round by a UNC player in an ACC Championship. Prior to this weekend she had only made one eagle in her collegiate career. 

“I first made it on hole 10, which was my first starting hole,” Izuzquiza said. “I made a putt that was pretty fast, so I was just building off that energy and was focused on one shot at a time.”

The Spain native was the only golfer to rack up multiple eagles in the third round and eagle on the 14th hole. 

The Tar Heels now look ahead to the postseason. With the NCAA Regionals and Championship on the horizon, the women’s golf team feels confident about their ability to succeed on the big stage but is also keeping the results from its time in Greensboro in mind.

Head coach Aimee Neff said each golfer’s preparation for the postseason is different and they have to pinpoint their individual weaknesses in order to be successful against a field of stacked opponents. 

“I think the big thing right now is seeing tendencies that they each have,” Neff said. 

Neff said each golfer will look at their season statistics to take a more individual approach to their preparation. She also said the Tar Heels will practice on different courses to make the team uncomfortable and to prepare them for wherever they are sent to play in the coming weeks.

While preparing for high-caliber competition in less than three weeks is no easy feat, the team is using the small victories they have had this season and at the ACC Championship to remain motivated and hungry for success.

“For me (in terms of preparation tactics), it is probably building off of the positives I have had in the last few months,” Izuzguiza said.

Izuzquiza also said she will be focusing on putting and up-and-downs, as her struggles in these areas is what weakened her score in the first two days of the ACC Championship.

While the Tar Heels may not have made the cut to match play in the ACC Championship, they are using their individual successes to further prepare for what comes next. 

From eagles to first-timers, the vast array of victories in Greensboro represents what the women’s golf team hopes to achieve in the postseason.


@dthsports |

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