Lurgan’s Niamh McSherry recorded a top-five finish with a one-under par 54-hole total but will be left to wonder what might’ve been after a disappointing final day at the Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational on Monday. As a team, the Wildcats dropped four places to finish eighth at the par-72, 6,317-yard Championship Golf Course at The University of New Mexico.
McSherry went into the final round holding a two-stroke advantage after her first round 66 tied for the fourth lowest in Kansas State history, however, she signed off with a six-over par 78 final round to finish in a tie for fifth place, her best result of the season. As a team, the Wildcats were unable to move up a leaderboard that saw them within three strokes of first place entering the day.
“The team played good, solid golf for the first 36 holes,” head coach Kristi Knight said about the Wildcats’ first day. “We put ourselves in a great position to succeed in the final round, but today we did not play good golf.”
For McSherry’s part, she will learn plenty from a difficult last day where she would’ve hoped to add to her victory at the Marilynn Smith Invitational last year. The Senior’s game has been trending in the right direction of late and after coming so close this week, she’ll be hopeful that another individual win is just around the corner.
Sophomore Haley Vargas led the Wildcats on the final day by carding a 1-over par 73 to finish at 11-over par 227. She improved 16 spots on the leaderboard to a tie for 40th.
The rest of the team saw elevated scores as Reid Isaac, who was six strokes behind Vargas on Monday, finished her final regular season tournament 8-over par 224 and tied for 31st, a drop of 15 places. Freshman Napua Glossner carded a 7-over par 79 on Monday to tie for 34th at 9-over par 225. Heather Fortushniak placed 58th at 19-over par 235.
“I am sorry for the ladies after a strong first day,” Knight said. “I know they have been working hard and really wanted it today. They put themselves in a place to succeed and they wanted to play well, but we just had too many errant shots to put together a good team score.”
Denver improved one stroke on Monday to win the tournament with a final score of even-par 864 after it entered the day tied with Pepperdine for first place. On the individual leaderboard, Grand Canyon’s Carly Strole took the crown after a 3-under par 69 final round and a 54-hole score of 8-under par 208.
Next action for the Wildcats is the 2021 Big 12 Championship, Sunday through Tuesday, at The Club at Carlton Woods in The Woodlands, Texas.
“After a day like today, the only thing to do is bounce back,” Knight said.
- Full scoring HERE