Friday, April 24, 2015

                       Denver - Summit League champions once again

Jessica Carty from Rory McIlroy country 

helps Denver win title again

Final Results

SEASIDE, California-- It certainly wasn't a cakewalk like last season, but the University of Denver women's team, led by individual champion Elyse Smidinger (Crofton, Maryland), held off valiant efforts from Oral Roberts and South Dakota State to capture their second consecutive Summit League golf championship. 
Dating back to 2004, when the Pioneers were in the Sun Belt Conference, Denver University women's golf teamhas won 12 straight league championships.
A year ago, Denver won the Summit League tournament by an astounding 71-shots. The Pioneers earned this year's title by shooting 62-over par, 18-shots better than Oral Roberts. 
South Dakota State, which entered the final day eight shots down and tied with Oral Roberts, struggled to a 33-over par day and finished in third place, 22-shots off the lead.
"I am so incredibly proud of this team and the way they played and carried themselves today, especially on the back nine," said Denver head coach Lindsay Kuhle.
 "They stepped up when it counted and all our hard work and deliberate practices paid off today. We were one stroke behind going into the last nine holes and really stepped up and played Pioneer golf. Sticking to the process, enjoying the experience and staying positive out there in difficult course and wind conditions."
Smidinger was clutch down the stretch and won the individual title at 11-over par, two shots ahead Paola Aviles of Oral Roberts.
 Smidinger, who was one shot back entering the day, played a solid round (3-over 75) and was able to keep pace with Aviles early on. However, back-to-back bogies on 12 and 13 by Aviles opened the door slightly for Smidinger and the unflappable junior took advantage.
"I am so happy for Elyse for her first college career victory and to play so well under pressure the entire round," remarked Kuhle. "She played extremely well and solid the last few holes and hit some quality shots and had great looks for birdie. She has worked so hard on her game this year and in the off-season and this is very well deserving."

Sophomore Jessica Carty, pictured right, from Rory McIlroy country - Holywood, near Belfast -  turned in a stellar effort over the course of three days and finished the tournament in third place at 15-over par after firing a final round 3-over 75.
Denver teammates Isabel Southard (Sharon, Mass.) and Aleana Groenhout (Kirkland, Wash.) finished in an eighth place tie at 22-over par with Mariell Bruun (Larvik, Norway) settling in at 25-over, good for a 15th place tie.
"I would like to thank my entire team and assistant Nicki (Cutler) for believing in our team philosophy this year and working so hard to achieve our commitments and process goals up to this point," commented Kuhle.
Next up for the Pioneers will be the NCAA regionals beginning on May 7th. Where Denver goes is still to be determined. This much is known however. The Denver women's golf team's season rolls on after yet another league championship. Jessica Carty, Rachael Watton honoured
The University of Denver women's golf team has placed four student-athletes on the All-Summit League First Team and one on the All-Summit League Second Team.  
The awards are based on the Golfstat rankings heading into the league tournament.
The first-team four are Isabel Southard,  Elyse Smidinger, Mariell Brunn and Jessica Carty from Northern Ireland.

Rachael Watton, pictured left, from Edinburgh, the lone senior on the Denver roster, was named to the All-Summit League Second Team.