WMU With Best Finish at Rio Verde Since 2008; Kansas Wins
RIO VERDE, Ariz. - In a battle down to the final holes of the 2012 Rio Verde Invitational, Kansas emerged victorious by three strokes thanks to a record-sharing final round by Katy Nugent.
The Jayhawks fired a team score of 291 on the final day to come from behind and take the team title, winning the tournament with a team score of 900, tied for the highest winning score since the event went to three rounds eight years ago (Michigan, 2005).
One of the reasons for the surge was medalist runner-up Katy Nugent (220, +7), who's final round 68 (-3) tied the mark for the lowest single round in tournament history. That accomplishment was not enough as Akron's Kristen Hill won medalist with a 54-hole score of 219 (+6), besting Nugent by a stroke.
Missouri State (903), which had the second lowest team score on Sunday (295) came just three strokes shy of forcing the first ever team playoff.
The third best round was turned in by the Broncos on Sunday (301), marking the lowest round of the 2011-12 thus far for Western Michigan. That effort helped WMU finish alone in seventh, its best finish in this event since tying for sixth in 2008.
Kaylee Imel, who finished tied for sixth after carding a 54-hole score of 224 (+11), had the best finish for a Bronco at the Rio Verde Invitational since Laura Bavaird finished fifth also in 2008.
WMU's round of the day was turned in by Leah Grawburg, who fired an even-par 71 and tied for 14th, thanks in part to three birdies. That score matched a single-round low for Grawburg, a feat she has accomplished twice before but not since fall of 2010 at the Pat Bradley Invitational.
Briana May also matched her career low round, a mark she set during Saturday's round, carding a 6-over par 77, giving her a new career 54-hole low (242).
Akron, which led the tournament through 36 holes, finished third (906) with Penn State (911) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (919) rounding out the top five.
The tournament's 36-hole individual leader, Missouri State's Kelsey Welber, finished third (221, +8), while Akron's Katie Jenior (223, +10) and 18-hole leader Ryann White of TAMU-CC tied for fourth.
WMU travels to North Carolina for the Pinehurst Challenge #6, a 54-hole event on March 19-20.
WMU Individual Results
T-6th, Kaylee Imel - 73-75-76=224 (+11)
T-14th, Leah Grawburg - 80-77-71=228 (+15)
T-39th, Melissa Beurmann - 80-80-77=237 (+24)
T-39th, Heather Marks - 80-80-77=237 (+24)
T-60th, Briana May - 88-77-77=242 (+29) *
T-67th, Laura Moutrey - 84-82-79=245 (+32)
70th, Kelsey Carney - 86-81-79=246 (+33) *
T-73rd, Katrina Templar - 85-83-80=248 (+35) *
82nd, Maria Demarco - 86-86-87=259 (+46) *
* Played as an individual