The Kansas women’s golf team needed a memorable Saturday to keep its season alive at the NCAA Central Regional in Stillwater, Okla.
The Jayhawks began the day in 10th place, and needed a top-eight finish at Karsten Creek Golf Club to move onto the NCAA Championship.
By the end of the day, the KU golf team had done enough — and more.
The Jayhawks finished in a tie for fifth place amongst the 24-team field, earning an invitation to the NCAA Championship for the first time since 1990.
“The team played with a lot of heart,” KU coach Erin O’Neil said.
Junior Minami Levonowich shot a 1-over 73 on Saturday, finishing in a tie for 19th in the tournament with a three-day score of 6-over 222. The sterling performance helped the Jayhawks move five spots up the team leaderboard.
The Jayhawks shot a three-day team total of 899, 24 strokes behind first-place UCLA. Kansas’ second ever trip to the NCAA Championship will begin May 20 at the Tulsa Country Club in Oklahoma.
“Going to Nationals is a tremendous accomplishment,” O’Neil said. “It’s a goal we have been working towards for a while. It’s nice to see the hard work pay off and it only motivates us to see how much higher we can rise in the future.”
Seniors Thanuttra “Fhong” Boonraksasat and Meghan Potee each recorded a 2-over 74 on Saturday, shaving important strokes off the team total. Fhong’s three-round score of 13-over 229 placed her in a tie for 45th, while Potee finished a tie for 66th with a tournament total of 7 over 233.
“Our seniors stepped up and really played a solid round in tough conditions today,” O’Neil said.