April 24, 2011
COLUMBIA, Mo. --- The Texas A&M women's golf team fired the low round of the day but fell just short in its bid to repeat at the 2011 Big 12 Women's Golf Championships on Sunday at The Club at Old Hawthorne.
The Aggies were the only team to go under par on the final day as the defending champions closed with a 1-under 287 to get to 11-under, but it wasn't enough to catch No. 20 Texas. The Longhorns shot a final round 1-over 289 to finish at 8-over and hung on for a three-stroke victory over the Aggies. The Aggies had pulled within a stroke of Texas in the final round, before a pair of back-nine eagles by the Longhorns gave them some breathing room.
"These girls brought it today," Aggie head coach Trelle McCombs said of her lineup. "We just came up a little short in the end. It's hard to match two eagles on the back nine but we certainly gave them a run for their money."
With the strong showing, the Aggies are playing their best golf of the season as they approach NCAA regional play. The Aggies will learn their regional destination on Monday as they continue their quest for a spot in the 2011 NCAA Championships, which Texas A&M and Traditions Golf Club will be hosting May 18-21.
"We are certainly peaking at the right time," McCombs said. "This is always my goal for each year. Obviously we would love to win every time we go out, but not even Tiger or Phil do that. But what they do that sets them apart from the others is peak for the majors, and that's what we want."
Fueling the Aggies' run at the Longhorns was senior Sarah Zwartynski, who saved her best for last with an impressive 4-under 68. It tied for the low individual round of the day. Zwartynski, who clinched last year's victory with a clutch putt, offset three bogeys with seven birdies. Zwartynski climbed from 19th after two rounds to a tie for sixth at even-par (76-72-68=216). It was her second straight year to finish in the top 10 at Big 12s.
"Z played awesome today," McCombs said. "She made birdie on the third hole, which was a pretty hard putt, and just kept rolling the rock from there. I could not be more proud of the way she came through for us today."
Joining Zwartynski at under par was freshman Katerina Ruzickova, who closed with a 2-under 70 to finish in a tie for second at 3-under (71-72-70=213) in her first Big 12 Championship. Ruzickova offset three bogeys with five birdies in her final round.
"Kat had another great day out there," McCombs said. "She got it to 3-under at one point and made a few bogies in the middle of the round, but really battled in the end to get some shots back."
Joining Zwartynski and Ruzickova in the scoring column in the final round were sophomores Sarah Beth Davis. Grunden shot a 2-over 74, and finished in a tie for 18th at 7-over (76-73-74=223), while Davis shot a 3-over 75, and finished in a tie for 32nd at 11-over (75-77-75=227). Freshman Natalie Reeves finished in a tie for 46th at 16-over (76-73-83=232).