CU Buffs’ Kirsty Hodgkins moves into a tie for sixth at NCAA golf regionals


University of Colorado junior Kirsty Hodgkins continued her fine play at the most critical time of the year here Tuesday, ending the second round of the NCAA East Lansing Regional in a tie for sixth place.

She owns a 72-71—143 (1-under) scorecard through 36 holes on the 6,387-yard, par-72 Forest Akers West Golf Course; Hodgkins had been tied for 14th after the first round. Her 71 tied for the sixth-best score in a regional round in program history, while her 143 total for two rounds is second-best, behind a 141 by Brittany Fan last spring.

More importantly, playing as an individual, she can advance to the NCAA Finals later this month in Fayetteville, Ark., by being among the top three individuals competing here who are not on the six teams that advance. All while taking her final exams in her major, mechanical engineering, when not at the course.

She is in the thick of that mix, as most players immediately around her are on teams that will qualify. She is two strokes back of a Michigan State player and one behind one from Baylor, while at least two shots up on anyone who at present would not be advancing with their team.

“Kirsty tee-to-green played great golf today,” CU head coach Anne Kelly said. “She hit all 18 greens in regulation and almost every fairway. This despite the course playing tough today because of all the rain overnight and cool temperatures. She just needs her putter to cooperate tomorrow and she will have a good chance at qualifying for the NCAA Finals.

“There was a long delay in the morning which maybe helped Kirsty get a bit more sleep,” Kelly continued. “She has had to take a final and then study for another every night during this tournament. She finished at 8:30 p.m. (EDT) and went right into taking an exam in her Heat Transfer class from 9-11:30.”