Women’s golf improves in 2nd spring tournament, Wildcat shoots hole-in-one

Kristi Knight, head coach of women's golf, and junior Katherine Gravel-Coursol fist bump during the Marilynn Smith-Sunflower Invitatoinal at the Colbert Hills Golf Course on Sep. 8, 2015. (File Photo by Emily Starkey | The Collegian)

The East Coast was not kind to the K-State women’s golf team last week when the Wildcats started their spring season. In the Florida State matchup, the Wildcats shot three rounds over 300 strokes, and they finished in a tie for 10th place out of 12 competing schools.

Not a hot start.

K-State journeyed to the other side of the map this past weekend for the Westbrook Invitational in Peoria, Arizona, hosted by the University of Wisconsin.

The Wildcats played 36 holes of golf on Sunday to start off the two-day tournament. They accumulated a team score of 289 on the first 18 holes, which put them in seventh place as a team.

The first 18 holes were very successful for the Wildcats individually. Not a single golfer of the five K-State took to Arizona shot higher than a 75 on the first round.

Wildcat sophomore Connie Jaffrey led the charge for the first 18 as she shot a score of 71. Not far behind Jaffrey were K-State juniors Katherine Gravel-Coursol and Paige Nelson, who both carded rounds of 72.

Junior Madison Talley and freshman Chloe Weir finished up the scoring for K-State with rounds of 74 and 75, respectively.

The Wildcats really made a charge on the second round and climbed up the leaderboard as a team.

Gravel-Coursol led the second 18 with a score of 68, which included a hole-in-one on the fourth hole, and Jaffrey followed closely with a 69. The two finished in a tie for second place individually after Sunday, just one shot off of the lead.

Talley improved on her second 18 holes and scored 72 to finish Sunday in a tie for 30th. Nelson tied for 43rd after scoring a 76 on the second 18 holes, and Weir finished in a tie for 54th after a 75 on the second round.

Altogether, the Wildcats scored a team round of 284 on the second 18, which propelled them five spots into second place headed into Monday’s round.

“The ladies did great today,” K-State head coach Kristi Knight said to K-State Sports on Sunday. “(Gravel-Coursol) had a hole-in-one on No. 4 this afternoon and another career-best round for her. I’m very proud of all of them. It was a total team effort.”

On Monday, the Wildcats found themselves shooting low scores once again. Jaffrey fired a 72 and finished in third as the highest-placing Wildcat in the tournament. Gravel-Coursol shot a 73 on Monday, which was five strokes more than her round on Sunday, but she still managed to finish in eighth place overall.

Talley carded a 71 and climbed seven spots to finish in 23rd place. Nelson matched her 72 from the first 18 holes and finished the tournament in 37th place. Weir came in at 56th after carding a 74 on Monday.

The Wildcats entered Monday’s round in second place in the team standings. Their team score of 288 on Monday was a very impressive outing, but it was not quite enough to hold their place. The Cats fell to third place after Ohio State shot a 284 on Monday and beat out K-State by just two strokes for the tournament.

“This was a first-class field and the ladies did very well,” Knight said to K-State Sports after Monday’s round. “I am proud of their effort. We have always known that those scores were there, so we have the potential to be very dangerous in the near future.”

The Wildcats will have some time off before they continue their spring season. They will be in action again on March 18 when they travel to Tucson, Arizona, to play in the Mountain View Collegiate Invitational.