Alabama Wins the ANNIKA Intercollegiate with Back Nine Charge
After an even-par front nine, the No. 1-ranked Alabama women’s golf team rolled to an 11-under par finish after the turn to win the ANNIKA Intercollegiate on Wednesday.
The back nine performance included two eagles, 10 birdies and just three bogeys by Alabama’s four scoring golfers on the par-72, 6,267-yard Royal Golf Club track in Lake Elmo, Minn.
“We had a great finish,” Alabama head coach Mic Potter said. “But we had to overcome some adversity in the last two rounds and that was critical to the win. Today we had some tough shots and hanging lies in wet conditions in the middle of the front nine. But we hung in there and that really won the tournament for us. If we don’t save those shots, we’re too far behind at the turn to make a run.”
Alabama (284-275-277/836) finished the tournament at -28, good for a two-shot win over UCLA (285-275-278/838), which finished at -26. USC (282-279-282/843) was third at -21 while Texas (285-281-281/847) and second-round leader Duke (279-278-293/850) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
The victory continues a trend that has seen Alabama shoot a combined 102-under par in its last three season-opening tournaments dating to the start of the 2016-17 campaign.
Junior Jiwon Jeon (77-67-65/209) led the Tide on Wednesday with a 5-under par performance that included four birdies and an eagle on 17 to finish the tournament tied for sixth at -7 overall. The Daegu, South Korea native played the final two days at -12 after a 5-over par opening round.
Fellow junior Kenzie Wright (67-67-78/212) tied for 13th at 4-under par. Senior Lauren Stephenson (71-72-70/213) tied for 15th at 3-under par while junior Kristen Gillman (74-71-69/214) tied for 18th at 2-under par. Sophomore Angelica Moresco (72-74-71/217) tied for 29th at 1-over par. Moresco also eagled the 17 as part of the Tide’s back nine run.
“We have four really good players who had very good summers so this is a continuation of that,” Potter said. “They’ve been working hard on their games. With Lauren, Kristen and Jiwon going so far in the Women’s Amateur and Angelica finishing in the top three at Mediterranean Games, they’re all on top of their games right now. Kenzie has not played a lot lately so I was impressed with her start. None of them surprised me though. They’re all talented golfers so it’s just a matter of how well they shoot from week to week.”
Alabama will return to action Sept. 28-30 at the Schooner Fall Classic at the Belmar Golf Club in Norman, Okla. The Tide won last year’s tournament with a 21-under par performance.
Royal Golf Club
Lake Elmo, Minn.
Host: University of Minnesota
Alabama Individual Results
T-5. Jiwon Jeon – 77-65-67/209 (-7)
T-13. Kenzie Wright – 67-67-78/212 (-4)
T-15. Lauren Stephenson – 71-72-70/213 (-3)
T-18. Kristen Gillman – 74- 71-69/214 (-2)
T-29. Angelica Moresco – 72-74-71/217 (+1)
- ALABAMA – 284-275-277/836 (-28)
- UCLA – 285-275-278/838 (-26)
- USC – 282-279-282/843 (-21)
- Texas – 285-281-281/847 (-17)
- Duke – 279-278-292/850 (-14)