Sophomore Maya Walton looked to repeat last year’s success in the NCAA women’s golf championships, to which she earned an individual bid by qualifying in fifth place at the 2017 NCAA Athens Regional. At this year’s three-round regional tournament at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, however, Walton fell short of securing an individual bid to the NCAA finals in Oklahoma, while the team also failed to secure a team bid.
Alongside Walton, junior Amber Wang, freshman Anabelle Chang, junior Tiana Lau, and senior Tenley Shield traveled to San Francisco to compete for one out of the six team bids to the championship tournament.
Walton was on track for one of the three individual bids after the first round on Monday. Shooting two-under 70 with four birdies on the front nine and two holes over par, she tied for fifth out of 96 players. Princeton finished 16th overall out of 18 teams at +17.
Walton extended Monday’s momentum into the second round of the tournament on Tuesday, finishing at two-over 74 after 36 holes. After the performance, Walton stood at even par. Princeton advanced to 15th overall on Tuesday after cutting six strokes off their first-round score from Monday.
Walton then hoped to clinch an individual bid in Wednesday’s third round, but ultimately fell four shots behind from the last qualifying position. She closed the tournament at one-over 217 to finish in 22nd place. Chang finished in 60th after shooting nine-over 225. Lau wasn’t too far behind in 68th at 11-over 227. Wang stood at 84th at 16-over 232, and Shield concluded her collegiate career at 85th at 17-over 233.
The Tigers finished 15th overall at +37, cutting back their score another two strokes. The team carded a 305 in Monday’s round, a 299 on Tuesday, and a 297 on Wednesday. Because only the top six teams and top three players not on those teams can advance, Princeton as a team did not qualify for the NCAA Championships.
The top six teams that earned bids to the finals in Oklahoma are Stanford (-8), UCLA (-4), Mississippi (-1), Louisville (E), Kent State (+1), and Colorado (+5). The three top players who earned individual bids are California’s Marthe Wold (-6), Pepperdine’s Hira Naveed (-5), North Carolina State’s Laura Kowohl (-3), and Oklahoma State’s Emma Broze (-3).
With the conclusion of the NCAA Regional, the Tigers wrapped up their season, which is highlighted by the team’s second-consecutive Ivy League title victory. With Tenley Shield as the team’s only senior, the remaining four regional participants are set to return for next year’s season.