Junior Jess Wallace shot even par in the final round of the 2011 Big 12 Championships in Columbia, Mo. to help the No. 31 University of Colorado women’s golf team finish ninth.
The Buffs shot 16-over par 304 on the final day to improve one spot. CU finished with a three-day total of 39-over par 903.
“Overall, this definitely wasn’t our best event,” head coach Anne Kelly said to CU Buffs. “But we don’t want to take that away from what we’ve done this year. You’ll have a bad round or tournament here or there, we just need to move forward now.”
Wallace showed why she is the highest ranked player in the Big 12, as Golfstat ranks her No. 30th overall in the country. She shot a 54-hole score of 1-under par 215 to finish in a fourth place tie with Victoria Stefenson of Iowa State.
She is now the first CU golfer to finish under par at the Big 12 Championships, besting the previous 54-hole record for a conference championship by seven strokes.
“Jess played well, and could’ve shot even lower but some of her putts didn’t fall,” Kelly said to CU Buffs. “Tied for fourth at the Big 12 Championships is really good, she continued her terrific season.”
Wallace pared the last eight holes of the day and all three of her rounds (1-over par 73, 2-under par 70 and even par 72) rank in the top eight in CU history for a conference championship.
“I started on the middle of the back nine and was hitting it well to start my round,” Wallace said to CU Buffs. “I got a few birdies but then it got worse as the day wore on and by the end I was scrambling a little bit but able to hold on to par.”
Kelly said to CU Buffs that the cold and windy conditions were actually better than what they expected the forecast to be, but adds that they weren’t necessarily ideal either.
“It’s more just annoying than affecting our play,” Wallace said to CU Buffs. “It wasn’t pounding rain, but it was consistent and just a nuisance. Having to have an umbrella and having to cover your clubs, but it wasn’t where we were consciously thinking it would throw off our shot or anything.”
The Buffs will find out Monday if they’ve been selected to participate in the 2011 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championships.
“This will drop us in the rankings, and we learned a lesson from the men’s basketball team not to assume we will be selected, but we’re hopefully that we’re still solid for Regional’s,” Kelly said to CU Buffs. “The hurdle now if we’re selected is that Regionals are right after finals, so we have to juggle academics and get them prepared for finals, but we also have to prepare for Regionals, so what practice time we do have needs to be quality time.”
Contact CU Independent Sports Editor Marlee Horn at firstname.lastname@example.org