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Colorado women’s golf has taken off this spring, becoming a national championship contender. Their second place finish at the Allstate Sugar Bowl, led by sophomore Alex Stewart’s first place 211 stroke, proved that the Buffs need to be considered a “top 10″ team in the nation.
“This was my first college win,” Alex Stewart said to the Sports Information Department (SID). “And that was a goal of mine for the spring. I’ll take this all in and use it for confidence and know I can compete with anybody out there.”
She knows it, the Buffs know it, and now the rest of the nation is beginning to know it too.
Stewart’s 5-under par 67 final round score is tied for the second best performance in CU school history and catapulted the Buffs past No.4 Southern California and No.2 Alabama to fall just three strokes short of No.13 Duke who won it all in the bayou.
“The front nine I played solid, but then on the back nine, I got things going,” Stewart said to the SID. “I think the turning point was on No. 12. I had birdied No. 11 and then hit a 30-foot birdie putt on No. 12 and then I was hitting all my putts after that. I just played really well and gave myself a ton of birdie opportunities and made them.”
But the Buffaloes’ incredible play is relatively new compared to the rest of this year’s fall and spring; playing in the Pac-12 has had them competing with the best teams in the country including seven other NCAA Top-25 teams every week. It was only a matter of time before CU was able to flaunt its talent to the rest of the best, and this week’s competition with nine other top 20 teams was a fantastic showcase.
The key to success at the Allstate Sugar Bowl was being in the right mindset, according to CU head coach Anne Kelly.
“Overall this week, we’ve just eliminated a lot of the mental mistakes,” Kelly said. “We’ve been talking about that over the course of the last few tournaments … You’ll miss shots and make mistakes, but keeping them to a minimum is the key for this team.”
It wasn’t just Alex Stuart who was cued in, the entire Buffs team played well in the final round. Senior Emily Talley shot 1-over par, Senior Jessica Wallace 2-over and ironically the Coleman twins, sophomores Jenny and Kristin, both finished 4-over.
The two also finished with the same score overall score of 237 at the Northrup Grumman Regional Invite (Feb.13 – Feb.15). So whether these twin Buffs have telepathy on their side or not, whenever these two score together, the Buffs play great.
“Don’t get me wrong, you always want to win,” Kelly said. “But this is one of, if not the, top performance in the history of our program … We played extremely well and we’re getting better every time out. It’s a credit to the girls on this team, the work and commitment they’re making to this program is outstanding and paying off right now.”
The Buffs now have a tournament in Arizona and Hawaii before the Pac-12 Conference Championships in Washington. This sets the women’s golf team up for a great March and April, but it’s what is in May that has the attention of the Buffs.
From May 10-12, the Buffaloes play host to the NCAA West Regional tournament in Eerie, Colorado. If the Buffs advance past that, they will travel to Franklin, Tenn., for the NCAA Championships May 23-26.
Stay tuned, this team might just make a run for the national championship this year!
All statistics and quotations courtesy of the University of Colorado Sports Information Department.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Joseph Wirth at Joseph.email@example.com.