The No. 2 Alabama women’s golf team struggled to the finish in the final round of the NCAA Championships on the par-72, 6,372-yard University of Georgia Golf Course Friday.
The Crimson Tide posted a 37-over 1,189 to finish seventh. The team shot a season-high 28-over-par 316 to slide from a tie for third as winds gusted through a difficult UGA course.
“I wish I knew what went wrong so I could correct it,” Alabama head coach Mic Potter said. “I asked myself the question, ‘What happened to the team that was 4-under par after 36 holes?’ Obviously, the wind was a factor, and the greens got firmer and faster. I think we mentally need to get stronger and tougher.
“We have to come away from this and [ask], ‘What do we need to do to get better?’ Clearly we have to practice differently and practice for this occasion, and we need to learn to ride that momentum we had coming in all the way through the tournament.”
Top-ranked Southern California cruised to the national championship with a 19-under 1,133 to win by 21 strokes over second-place Duke (+4) and 40 over third-place Purdue (+21, 1,173). UCLA finished fourth at 22-over 1,174 and Arizona State was fifth at 29-over 1,181.
Junior Stephanie Meadow, who played well over the first three rounds, struggled in the final round with 9-over 81 to finish 1-over-par 289 for the tournament. The 81 was the highest round of her Alabama career. USC’s Annie Park won medalist honors at 10-under 278.
Emma Talley finished tied for 23rd individually at 6-over 294. Talley, a freshman from Princeton, Ky., carded a 3-over 75 on Friday and was victimized by a triple bogey on the difficult par-3 15th hole. Sophomore Daniela Lendl carded a 79 in round four to finish tied for 73rd at 17-over 305.
Senior Jennifer Kirby and junior Hannah Collier shot 82 and 84 in the final round, respectively. Kirby, from Paris, Ontario, finished tied for 73rd at 17-over 305 while Collier, from Birmingham, Ala., tied for 109th at 21-over 313.