Colorado senior Esther Lee shot a 4-under-par 68 Tuesday to finish a school-record 18-under at the New Mexico Invitational, helping the Buffaloes take seventh out of 16 teams.
Lee earned medalist honors for the tournament, held at the par-72, 6,317-yard New Mexico Championship Golf Course in Albuquerque. Her week was highlighted by a first-round score of 61, which tied an NCAA record.
"Esther, to finish 18-under par is pretty amazing," CU coach Anne Kelly said. "It's not a piece-of-cake golf course."
Lee was in command again Tuesday, collecting five birdies and 12 pars against one bogey. Her 21 birdies in the tournament also were good for a school record.
Lee became the first Buff to notch three rounds in the 60s at an event and set the program record for the most consecutive rounds in the 60s with her scorecard of 61-69-68.
"I actually got off to a slow start [in the third round]. I think I made all of my birdies on the last seven or eight holes," Lee said. "You just have to be patient, and I was patient. I knew that my putts would start going in eventually. It's an incredible feeling to know I'm starting off my senior year with a win, having that kind of experience and having the confidence going into the rest of the season."
Also for Colorado, Brittany Fan and Kirsty Hodgkins finished 2-over tie for 30th place.
Ninth-ranked Oklahoma State won the tournament comfortably with a team score of 844, or 20-under par, nine strokes ahead of second-place finisher Arizona State at 11-under par, 853. Colorado's score was 864.
1. Esther Lee 61-69-68—198
T30. Brittany Fan 71-74-73—218
T30. Kirsty Hodgkins 72-75-71—218
T78. Tori Glenn 77-78-75—230
T81. Gillian Vance 77-79-75—231
88. *Lauryn Keating 77-84-76—237
TOP 5 INDIVIDUALS
1. Esther Lee, Colorado 61-69-68—198
2. Sirene Blair, San Diego State 69-64-70—203
T3. Krystal Quihus, Arizona 68-68-70—206
T3. Monica Vaughn, Arizona State 67-66-73—206
T3. Haley Moore, Arizona 70-71-65—206
T3. Linnea Johansson, Oklahoma State 66-72-68—206
1. Oklahoma State 274-287-283—844
2. Arizona State 284-281-288—853
3. Baylor 282-289-283—854
4. Northwestern 287-287-281—855
5. Arizona 290-287-284—861
6. Oklahoma 290-285-287—862
7. COLORADO 281-296-287—864
8. New Mexico 299-285-283—867
9. California 290-289-291—870
10. San Diego State 296-292-284—872
11. Iowa State 290-294-293—877
12. Pepperdine 296-298-286—880
13. Denver 301-293-287—881
14. Washington State 301-303-286—890
15. UNLV 301-299-297—897
16. UC Davis 302-315-288—905