Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Connie and Elizabeth make it a British double 

on US college circuit this week

It is probably a first in all the years I have been tracking British students on the US men's and women's college golf circuits ... two simultaneous wins by British students, writes Colin Farquharson.
Scottish women's amateur champion Connie Jaffrey from Kilwinning, Ayrshire, a student at Kansas State University, and England's Elizabeth Prior from Surrey, a student at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, BOTH won this week.

In the Mary Kauth Invitational at Briggs Ranch Golf Club, San Antonio, Texas, final-year student Connie led early with a six-under-par 66 but the weather worsened after that and her scores went up to 71 and 70 for a final total of nine-under-par 207 over a 6,450yd course .
The Scot, pictured with the tournament trophy, won by one stroke from two players producing one of her four last-round birdies late in the day to snatch victory. It was Jaffrey's fourth US college victory and her second in a couple of months.
Other Brits in the field of 74 were Sophie Newlove from Nottingham and former Scottish U18 girls champion Lauren Whyte from St Andrews, both students at Denver University.
Sophie finished T15 with steady scores of 73, 73 and 72 for 218.
Lauren, a past winner of the Scottish U18 girls championship, finished T17 with scores of 73, 69 and 77 for 219.  She was five over par for her last 11 holes. But for that she would have achieved a top 10 finish. 
Kansas State freshman Niamh McSherry from Lurgan, Northern Ireland scored 77, 75 and 74 for 226 and a T46 finish.
Despite Connie Jaffrey's great effort, Kansas State (878) finished as low as seventh in a field of 14  in the team event won by Arkansas (842) from Texas A and M, and Texas Christian (both 860) with Denver (870) fourth. 

Elizabeth Prior wins by 10 shots
Elizabeth Prior (UNLV), pictured below, won the Las Vegas Collegiate tournament at Boulder Creek Golf Club by a  resounding TEN strokes with excellent rounds of 67, 66 and 67 for a 16-under-par 200 total - professional-standard scoring by the third-year student. Incredibly, it was the Surrey student's first competitive tournament since the Spring.

Two Missouri students from the UK were in her wake. Emma Allen from Southampton finished joint second on 210 with scores of 65, 70 and 75.
Former Scottish women's amateur champion Clara Young from North Berwick, in her final year at Missouri, finished T12 with rounds of 68, 72 and 74 for 214.
There was a field of 96 players.
UNLV (17 under par) won the team title by 10 shots from San Jose State with Missouri (five under) third in a field of 12 teams.


Elizabeth Prior, playing in her first tournament of the year, turned in a career-low 54-hole score of 16-under 200 to earn her second individual title as a Rebel. Her winning score also ties the lowest three-round score in program history, set by Rebel All-American Therese Koelbaek in 2008 at the same tournament.
As a team the Rebels carded a score of 17-under to finish in first and win the tournament by 10 strokes over second-place San Jose State. Tuesday's final round was UNLV's only round over par at 4-over, but it was tied for the second lowest round of the day due to wind wreaking havoc on the course. 
Ultimately it didn't matter, though, as the Rebels' seven-shot lead heading into the last day was enough to help them come out on top. It was UNLV's third win overall in the 16-year history of the tournament and second since 2015, while it marked the first time the Rebels have swept both titles in the same year since 2004.
Prior turned in rounds of 67, 66 and 67 to establish a new career low and win her second collegiate tournament since taking first in the Battle at Boulder Creek as a freshman in 2015 when she shot a 15-under 201 at the same course. The Surrey, England, native is also the first Rebel to win the individual medalist honour at the showdown since All-American-turned-LPGA Tour member Dana Finkelstein won it in 2014.
Georgina Blackman T6 finish at Sarasota

Georgina Blackman, from Essex, a final-year student at Western Kentucky, finished T6 in a field of 78 players at the Pat Bradley college tournament, hosted by Florida International University at Sarasota.
She had rounds of 74, 71 and 74 for a two-over-par tally of 218.
She finished seven strokes behind the winner by five, Gabrielle Gibson (Wyoming) (71-70-70 for five-under 211).



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