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Women’s golf: CU Buffs’ Hodgkins to return in 2020-21

Colorado’s lone senior taking advantage of opportunity for extra year of eligibility

Kirsty Hodgkins

The lone senior for the Colorado women’s golf team isn’t ready to call her collegiate career complete.

CU announced Monday that senior Kirsty Hodgkins will take advantage of the NCAA approving an extra year of eligibility for the spring sports athletes that had their seasons cut short because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the NCAA approved the extra year, each school was allowed to make its own decision on athletes returning. CU athletic director Rick George announced last month that the Buffs would give the seniors that opportunity.

Hodgkins is the first CU athlete to officially be announced as returning for next year, although there are likely to be more from other sports.

“I’m extremely excited and incredibly grateful for this opportunity,” Hodgkins said in a press release. “I want to thank the coaches for giving me this opportunity and CU athletics department for all of the hard work during this trying time.”

Hodgkins, from Australia, was leading the Buffs with a 73.1 stroke average this spring when the remainder of the season was canceled March 12.

Hodgkins holds the CU record for career top-five finishes (nine) and rounds under par (32) and her career stroke average (73.78) is third in CU history. She owns two of the 10 best single-season stroke averages and was on pace for a career-best average this year.

She was CU’s No. 1 player in 2019, leading the Buffs in seven of their 11 tournaments. As a sophomore in 2018, she helped the Buffs reach the NCAA Championship for just the second time in program history. She posted four top-10 finishes as a freshman.

“We are very happy about Kirsty getting the chance to come back next year, especially since her senior year was cut short,” CU head coach Anne Kelly said. “She is an excellent player and student-athlete. When I told Kirsty the news, I said it’s not too often you get a ‘mulligan’ in life, so let’s take advantage of this one. Kirsty has had such a successful career at CU; I’m just so happy she gets the opportunity to give her senior year another try.”

Hodgkins was the team’s co-MVP in 2018 and earned All-Pac-12 honorable mention in 2017. An engineering major, she has also been a two-time honorable mention Pac-12 All-Academic selection.

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