CU women’s golf: Buffs repeat top-five finish at Pac-12

For the second consecutive season, Colorado’s women’s golf team posted a top-five finish in the Pac-12 Championships.

The Buffs, after shooting a 6-over-par 294 in Wednesday’s final round at Ruby Hill Golf Club in Pleasanton, Calif., finished with an even-par 864 total. It’s the lowest 54-hole total in postseason history and just the third time the program has finished a 54-hole tournament at or under par.

“Today the conditions were a little tougher, the wind picked up a bit and the hole locations were a little more difficult and I think you can see that overall with the scores for the day,” said Colorado head coach Anne Kelly. “Of course, we would always like to do better, but a fifth-place finish in this conference is very good when we’re facing so many great teams. Everybody played tough and it was a team effort this week.”

No. 2 ranked Southern Cal won the conference championship with an 18-under 846. Rival and fourth-ranked UCLA was three strokes back, followed by Arizona State (851) and Arizona (856). The field included seven top-15 teams. Colorado is ranked 40th.

CU senior Alexis Keating, who started the day in second, finished tied for fifth after an 8-under-par 210. She shot 2-over in the final round, but still tied the school record she set a year ago, when she also placed fifth.

“It was really awesome to have another top five finish at Pac-12s, especially since this is my last conference tournament,” Keating said. “Yesterday was a really good day. I felt really good on the greens. Ball striking was good, same with the first day. Today was a little bit of a struggle for me. I wasn’t hitting the ball as well.”

Sophomore Brittany Fan, after a 2-under 70 on Wednesday, tied for 12 with a 1-under 215 final score. Junior Esther Lee tied for 18th (216), freshman Gillian Vance tied for 45th (224) and junior Natalie Vivaldi was 50th (226). Lee, a native of Los Alamitos, Calif., was named to the All-Pac-12 team for a second consecutive season. Lee, ranked 20th nationally, led the team with a 72.48 stroke average.

Arizona State’s Linnea Strom was the top medalist with an 11-under-par 205. She edged UCLA’s Bronte Law by one stroke after a birdie on No. 18.

2016 Pac-12 Championships

Team scores

1. Southern California 278-275-293—846; 2. UCLA 282-284-283—849; 3. Arizona State 285-284-282—851; 4. Arizona 286-280-290—856; 5. COLORADO 286-284-294—864; 6. Washington 289-292-285—866; 7. Stanford 287-294-290—871; 8. Oregon 286-289-303—878; 9. California 295-289-297—881; 10. Oregon State 292-293-297—882; 11. Washington State 287-294-303—884

Top 5 Individuals

1. Linnea Strom, Arizona State 71-68-66—205; 2. Bronte Law, UCLA 70-70-66—206; T3.; Lilia Vu, UCLA 70-69-69—208; T3. Gabriella Then, Southern California 70-65-73—208; T5. Alexis Keating, Colorado 70-66-74—210; T5. Charlotte Thomas, Washington 75-67-68—210; T5. Monic Vaughn, Arizona State 69-72-69—210; T5. Krystal Quihuis, Arizona 72-69-69—210

Buffs Individuals

T5. Alexis Keating 70-66-74—210; T12. Brittany Fan 72-73-70—215; T18. Esther Lee 70-73-73—216; T45. Gillian Vance 75-72-77—224; 50. Natalie Vivaldi 74-73-79—226