Hurricanes fall to Northwestern in home golf invite

The Northwestern University women’s golf team eased into Wednesday morning’s tee-off for the third and final round of the Hurricane Invitational with a big lead and didn’t relinquish it.

On a quiet sunny morning at the Biltmore Golf Course in Coral Gables, the Northwestern Wildcats relied on its 13-stroke lead entering the day as they shot their worst round of tournament. After shooting four and two shots below par in their first two rounds, the Wildcats shot over round over par in the tournament for the first time, shooting 13 strokes over.

The University of Miami Hurricanes came into the final round sitting in second place with the 13-stroke deficit to make up, but a strong round from senior Kailey Walsh wasn’t enough to close the huge gap.

Walsh shot two strokes below par as the only Hurricane to finish below par in the round, and finished as the Hurricanes best player by four shots, shooting one over par for a final score of 214.

Birdies on the first, third, seventh and eight holes were part of a terrific front nine for the senior. Walsh added two more birdies on the back nine, including one on the par-5 18th hole.

The Wildcats used a tournament-high 40 birdies to separate themselves from the pack, and were at their best on the hardest holes. On Par-5 holes the Wildcats shot an outstanding 14 shots below bar, five shots better than the next best team, Daytona State.

By contrast, the Hurricanes ended one over par on par-5 holes at their home course. Freshman Hannah Kim led the Wildcats shooting just one stroke over par or the event.

For Miami, a strong second round was not enough to offset a first round in which they shot seven strokes over par, and a final round with a score of six strokes over.

Senior Rika Park and Sophomore Daniela Darquea were keys to the team’s good second round, hitting two shots and one shot below par, respectively. Park finished five over par while Darquea managed to finish six over par after struggling in the first round.

Daytona State finished tied for tenth place despite having the individual scoring leader in Tiffany Chan, who was the only golfer to finish the tournament below par, at one under.

The Hurricanes have now finished inside the top five in three events. Their next competition comes on March 16 as they head to Houston for the University of Houston Match Play competition, a one-day event.