Women’s golf finishes final round with four players, advances out of Austin regional

Baylor freshman Athletics Gurleen Kaur watchers her practice shot land at the Williams Golf Facility on Jan. 30. Courtesy of Baylor Athletics

By Nathan Keil | Sports Editor

Baylor women’s golf advanced out of the Austin Regional Wednesday afternoon. The Lady Bears finished in a tie for third place, despite having three players come down with a virus forcing one to withdraw.

Junior Maria Vesga made it threw seven holes before she had to withdraw and go to the emergency room. She was picked up by her teammates, two of which were also battling the virus and the Lady Bears shot an even par 288 in round three to finish with a five over par 869 for the tournament.

Arkansas finished in first with a -26 for the tournament, including a five under par 283 on Wednesday to finish with an 838. Host Texas finished in second at -15 with a three-day total of 849. Baylor then tied with a pair of SEC schools, Florida and Auburn at 869.

Auburn made a big jump from day two to three, jumping five spots on the final day with a 286.

The final team in the top six is fellow Big 12 rival Oklahoma, who finished sixth with a score of 870. The Sooners shot a one over par 289 on Wednesday to fall from fourth to sixth place.

Baylor held pretty steady over the course of the three-day regional tournament. The Lady Bears got an even 288 on Monday to sit seven strokes back of Texas.

Despite shooting a five over par 293 on Tuesday, Baylor remained in fourth place at the end of the day. The Lady Bears then moved up a spot to third after their par round on Wednesday.

Head coach Jay Goble said it his team gave an extremely gutsy performance on Wednesday in punching their ticket to the NCAA Championships.

“Really happy for them, but again I’m happy for everyone,” Goble said. “Amy Lee played an awesome round of golf today. She shot 1-under-par. She’s been on and off with her game all year. And she played like the Amy Lee that we know and love today, which was great. Fiona (Liddell), for her to start feeling bad the middle of the round and have to stay out on the golf course and gut out pars for three more hours is really hard to do. And she did it. That showed a lot of guts as well.”

Individually, freshman Gurleen Kaur led the charge for Baylor. She finished in a tie for 12th place with a three under for the tournament. Kaur shot a 69 in round one, a round that featured 15 pars and three birdies as she was tied for second on the individual board.

Kaur said that as well as she played, she missed some shots she believes she should have made.

“I started off really strong, but I missed my birdies on Nos. 1 and 2,” Kaur said. “I wasn’t really hitting my driver really well, but my approach shots and my chipping and putting were really good. I started off with eight pars, and then finally made birdie on No. 9 to get some momentum. I missed four or five greens, but I got it up and down every time, so that was good.”

On day two, Kaur got off to a rough start, shooting four over on the front nine, but played a clean back nine, including six pars and three birdies to finish with a second round 73.

On Wednesday, Kaur finished off her solid tournament with a one under par 71 for a three-day total of 213.

Senior Amy Lee finished in a tie for 24th place overall. Lee finished with a three over par 219 for the tournament after shooting a 72 on Monday, a 76 Tuesday and a one under 71 Wednesday morning.

Sophomore Fiona Liddell finished four over par for the tournament with a score of 220. Lidell posted scores of 75, 71 and 74. Freshman Diana Baillieux finished in a tie for 42nd with a seven over par 223 for the tournament. Baillieux shot a 77, 74 and a 72.

Arkansas’ Maria Fassi finished in first on the individual board with an eight under 208 after shooting 69, 70 and 69.

Baylor will continue its postseason run at the Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla. The tournament runs May 18-23.