The Colorado women's golf team defeated the No. 4 seed Purdue on the final day of the Gifford Great 8 Collegiate Match Play event Tuesday in Los Angeles to finish third.
The No. 39/36 ranked and No. 6 seeded Buffaloes defeated an impressive No. 8/9 Georgia team 3-2 Monday morning in the first round of the tournament to advance to the semifinal championship bracket. CU then faced No. 7/9 ranked and No. 2 seed UCLA in the semifinal Monday afternoon and put up a solid fight but fell 3-2. Tuesday morning vying for a third-place finish, the Buffs faced off against another solid opponent in No. 32/22 ranked Purdue and downed the Boilermakers 3-2 to finish the tournament third overall.
"I was really proud of how the team hung in each of their matches," CU head coach Anne Kelly said. "Purdue is ranked No. 22. So, we beat two teams that are ranked ahead of us this week."
Kirsty Hodgkins was the first Buff to complete her third round match as she mounted an encouraging comeback posting a 1-up win over Purdue's Covadonga Sanjuan. Hodgkins, trailed for 16 straight holes but, when it counted, her consistency proved strong and put her 1-up on the final hole of the day to take the victory. Sanjuan was 1-up for most the round and even pushed her lead to 3-up on hole 14 until, she recorded three bogeys to Hodgkins five straight pars to end the day.
Gillian Vance was pitted against the Boilermaker's Micaela Farah and immediately went 1-up on hole No. 1. The match was all square for six straight holes until Vance kicked it into gear and went 1-up on hole 10 and held onto her lead the rest of the way winning the round 1-up. This was Vance's first true victory on the weekend as she dropped her first match against Georgia and tied Bethany Wu of UCLA.
After going down one for the first eight holes, senior Esther Lee settled in and squared it up on hole No. 9 and rallied to take the victory over Purdue's Linn Andersson 3&2. Lee emerged victorious throughout the entire tournament winning her matches all three days.
Robyn Choi was matched up with a solid Marta Martin of Purdue as Martin went 1-up right off the start and held onto her lead most of the way. Martin went 4-up at one point but Choi stayed in it and eventually squared up the match on hole 16, but unfortunately could not hang in there, as she bogeyed the final hole to give Martin the 1-up victory.
Brittany Fan fell to Purdue's August Kim 1-up in a very consistent matchup. The match stayed all square or 1-up for each player the majority of the round. Each player went 1-up at one point in the round only to see the other player win the next hole to bring it back. Fan bogeyed hole 17 to give Kim a 1-up lead in which she coasted through the final hole to take the 1-up victory for Purdue.