PROVO, Utah — BYU women’s golf finished the 2012-13 season on a high note, earning three consecutive top-five finishes including a third place finish at the West Coast Conference Golf Championships.
Experience and youth played a key role during the 2012-13 campaign as senior Amanda Keith and freshman Lea Garner led the Cougars during tournament play. Competing throughout the western states, BYU will look to build upon their experience heading into next season.
“We improved and that’s what we need to do each year, keep improving until we get to where we need to be,” BYU head coach Carrie Roberts said. “It’s a great group, a fun group to be around.”
The Cougars finished in fifth place among a field of 15 teams at the BYU Entrada Classic, recording a 920 (+56) team score. Their following tournament, the Wyoming Cowgirl Classic, the Cougars finished fourth out of 19 teams, shooting a 72-over 936 team score. At the WCC Golf Championships, the Cougars tallied a 64-over 928 team score to finish in third place, improving upon last year’s sixth place finish.
Garner and Keith led the Cougars with a 77.70 and 77.80 scoring average, respectively, while all of the team's final starters improved upon their scoring average from the prior season.
Garner has a bright future with the Cougars, finding her confidence on the course late in the season.
Despite not cracking the top-20 in individual standings during her first seven collegiate tournaments, Garner finished the season with three consecutive finishes in the top-20, including two straight in the top ten.
The freshman carded an 8-over 224 at the WCC Championships to finish in fifth place, her best career collegiate finish and lowest 54-hole total. She finished the season being named to the 2013 All-WCC Women’s Golf Team.
“Lea’s gained a lot [of experience] playing some hard courses,” Roberts said. “She’s very determined and competitive. It’s fun to see her grow and I think she’ll just keep getting better and better.”
Keith had her best season in the blue and white, finishing four tournaments in the top-20, after earning only three top-20 finishes during her prior three seasons. Competing in the Dick McGuire Invitational, the senior shot rounds of 74-72-74 to tally a 220 (+1) score, tying for ninth place on the individual leaderboard.
Keith led the Cougars with the low score in three tournaments this season and tied for 14th place at the WCC Championships. She was named a 2013 All-WCC honorable mention and provided leadership throughout the season with her play on the links.
Juniors Annika Kahaiali’i and Selu Fotu recorded scoring averages of 78.96 and 79.48, respectively. Kahaiali’i carded a 19-over 235 at the WCC Championships to finish in 12th place, her best finish of the season. She was named a 2013 All-WCC honorable mention following the conclusion of the season.
After competing in only three tournaments during her sophomore year, Fotu contributed a strong junior season competing in nine events. Fotu’s best tournament score came in October at the Price’s “Give ‘Em Five” Intercollegiate, where the junior recorded an 11-over 227 to tie for 36th place.
Sophomore Lauren Atkinson received academic honors being named to the 2012-13 WCC Women’s Golf All-Academic Team. Atkinson carded a 16-over 232 at the Rainbow Wahine Invitational, her best score of the season, to tie for 33rd place.
Next year’s squad will welcome Annie Yang of British Columbia, Canada, and Brooklyn Anderson of Idaho Falls, Idaho. Entering their third season in the West Coast Conference, the Cougars look to contend for a league title.
Chris Scheitinger is a student at Brigham Young University studying Public Relations. Contact him at email@example.com
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