North Texas Daily

Recap: Women’s golf wins first conference title in program history, Tan takes individual crown

Recap: Women’s golf wins first conference title in program history, Tan takes individual crown

Recap: Women’s golf wins first conference title in program history, Tan takes individual crown
April 21
20:57 2021

Day 3

A milestone at least 27 years in the making (which is as far back as program records go) has been attained by the women’s golf team.

With a 5-under-par 283 in the third and final round today, North Texas won the Conference USA tournament to secure its first conference title in program history. Junior Audrey Tan also secured the individual title in finishing at 9-under-par, the program’s first athlete to be honored as the C-USA women’s golf Individual Medalist.

“It’s awesome [to make that history],” head coach Michael Akers said. “You look at the men’s program at UNT and the history they’ve had, I think they’ve had 40 conference championships, four national championships and the women had zero until now. […] It’s absolutely amazing when you think of it in those terms.”

With the win, the No. 32-ranked Mean Green guaranteed themselves an NCAA Regionals bid for the second time in program history. They already had essentially guaranteed it as the top 50 teams nationally typically receive at-large bids if they do not win their conference titles.

The final-round 283 was the team’s best round of the tourney and second-best round by any team throughout the event, behind Western Kentucky University’s opening round 282. The Mean Green trailed Western Kentucky by four strokes heading into Wednesday’s final round and ended up topping the Hilltoppers by 12 strokes.

“[I] went up to each [player] and said, ‘today is a stress-free day,’” Akers said. “We already have our ticket punched to the NCAA Regionals, we have no stress. Just go out, have fun and make birdies. We talked to everybody about that, then the other thought was that we’re the best-ranked team in the conference for a reason. Over the course of 54 holes, the true champion should emerge. […] They didn’t fold under pressure, they just rose to the occasion, had a lot of birdies and man, what a great final round.”

It came after the tourney’s first two days were altered by weather, with teams playing between 26 and 28 holes on day one and completing the second round on Tuesday between lightning delays.

“There were so many changes [due to the weather],” Akers said. “More than once did I tell them how proud I was of their patience and how they adjusted to everything. […] There were so many things thrown at them this week and they just handled all the adjustments and just really showed why we’re ranked the best in the conference.”

En route to her individual win, Tan led the way on day three with a final round 67 to finish at 9-under-par, one stroke ahead of No. 2. Tan’s first-round 66 and third-round 67 are her two best collegiate rounds ever and stand among the program’s lowest one-round scores.

“Audrey went somewhere she’d never gone before,” Akers said. “She shot scores she’s never shot before and she deserves those scores because she works incredibly. She puts in so much time and is very dedicated to her craft. She has gotten stronger physically and the No. 1 thing over the last couple years is her mental game has improved dramatically.”

Right on her heels, senior Lauren Cox shot a 2-under 70 in round three to finish tied for No. 4 at -2. The finish gives Cox five top 10 placements this season in eight tournaments.

Both Tan and Cox earned All-Tournament honors for their performances

In her best finish of the season, sophomore Emilie Ricaud rode a final round 72 to a tie for No. 12 at +4.

With a final-round 75, junior Patricia Sinolungan finished tied for No. 23 at 7-over-par.

Junior Katie Finley scored a 2-over 74 on day three for her best round of the tournament and finished tied for No. 32 at +13.

As North Texas now has its sights set on the NCAA Regionals, Akers said this tournament win gives the team good momentum moving forward.

“The ultimate goal is to get to the national championship,” Akers said. “When you do something like this with those kinds of numbers, I know we can compete at regionals. Our goal is definitely to go there and try to get to the national championship.”

UP NEXT: Women’s golf will compete in the NCAA Regionals on May 10-12 at a location TBA.

Day 2

With several weather delays overcome, women’s golf completed round two of the C-USA tournament on Tuesday and ended the day tied for No. 2 with Middle Tennessee State University at 4-over-par.

After North Texas golfers played either 26 or 27 holes on Day 1 rather than the normal 18 in anticipation of inclement weather, the team finished up its second round on Tuesday. The Mean Green ended up four strokes behind leader Western Kentucky heading into the final round on Wednesday, two strokes closer than their Day 1 standing.

“We had a lot of looks at birdies today but they just did not fall,” Akers said. “The good news is we are closer to the lead than we were yesterday. We are excited to be in a great position to win heading into the final round. We are right where we want to be.”

Leading the way after two rounds was junior Audrey Tan who ended the day No. 3 individually at 4-under after finishing up a second-round 74.

Right behind her, senior Lauren Cox carded a second even-par 72 on the round to end the day tied for No. 7.

Junior Patricia Sinolungan and sophomore Emilie Ricaud both finished day two tied for No. 19 at +4, while junior Katie Finley tied for No. 40 at +11

Day 1

Following a unique first day at the C-USA tournament, women’s golf found itself at No. 2 on Monday with six strokes separating it from the leading Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.

Anticipating bad weather on Tuesday, the Mean Green athletes and their competitors each played between 26 and 28 holes before play concluded for the day.

“We had many changes to the plan over the past few days,” Akers said. “I’m proud of how the ladies adjusted to everything thrown at them. Audrey was outstanding during round one. I feel like the others will improve and as always our goal is to break par in each round.”

Junior Audrey Tan led the way with a career-best 6-under-par 66 in round one and was tied for No. 1 individually through 27 holes of play.

Next up, senior Lauren Cox ended the day tied for No. 6 at 1-under through 27 holes after an even-par opening round.

Rounding out the top four individuals, junior Patricia Sinolungan and sophomore Emilie Ricaud were tied for No. 15 at 2-over-par after completing 26 holes.

Junior Katie Finley finished day one tied for No. 29 at +5.

Featured Image: Junior golfer Audrey Tan lines up her shot during The Bruzzy tournament on March 28, 2021. Image by Zachary Thomas

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John Fields

John Fields

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