For the second straight year, the Northwestern women’s golf team has advanced to the match play stage of the NCAA Championships. The Wildcats earned the No. 4 seed in the eight-team bracket, finishing four rounds of stroke competition at +21. Northwestern will take on fifth-seeded Stanford tomorrow morning at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.
All five Wildcats who competed this weekend had at least one solid round, but it was senior Hannah Kim who stood out. Kim, who holds the lowest career scoring average in program history, shot a 71 on Sunday and followed that up with a 70 on Monday, which marked Northwestern’s best round of the day. The two-time Big Ten Player of the Year finished +1 for the weekend, tied for 13th among all competitors.
Over the first three days of the tournament, a different Wildcat carded the lowest score. On Friday, it was junior Janet Mao who fired a weekend-low 68 as Northwestern finished the day tied for sixth.
The next morning, sophomore Brooke Riley rebounded from an ugly first-round 87 to shoot a 72. Her even par round paced the Wildcats on Saturday, as Northwestern improved its play by six strokes to climb into the top four as the field was cut to 24. The Wildcats kept improving on Sunday led by Kim before closing out a largely mistake-free weekend of golf Monday afternoon.
The finishes with a birdie on 18 to polish off a 2-under 7️⃣0️⃣ in the final stroke round of her college career.— Northwestern Golf (@NUGolf_Live) May 21, 2018
⛳️https://t.co/Z1cJOfmcby#B1GCats | #NCAAGolf pic.twitter.com/d493k6utpW
Last season, Arizona State defeated Northwestern to claim the national championship, but the Sun Devils did not make the cut this weekend. Instead, the stiffest competition will come from Alabama and UCLA, who finished No. 1 and No. 2 in both the final Golfweek rankings and in this weekend’s four-round tournament.
Right now however, the focus is on Stanford. Golf Channel will air coverage of the matchup between the Wildcats and the Cardinal starting at 10 a.m. Tuesday, though the match will tee off at 7:50 a.m. Should Northwestern advance, semifinal coverage will begin at 4 p.m. Tuesday evening.