No. 18 Virginia women's golf team traveled to New Orleans this past weekend to compete in the Tiger/Wave Golf Classic at the English Turn Golf and Country Club. The Cavaliers hoped to defend their title after winning last year's event but placed fifth out of 23 of the nation's top 50 programs, behind Auburn, TCU, Alabama and LSU.
With an 8-over 296 score, Virginia was three shots behind Alabama during the first round. Junior Calle Nielson and sophomore Eleana Collins led Virginia during round one, tying for 11th place with a 1-over 73. This first round performance was Collins' best collegiate one-round score.
The Cavaliers did not fare as well in the next round, falling to fifth with a second round score of 315. With a 611 aggregate score, Virginia fell 10 shots behind leaders LSU and Auburn. Nielson's move up to third place with an even 72 in the second round put her one stroke behind LSU junior Megan McChrystaland Auburn junior Cydney Clanton.
Although Virginia finished strong with a score of 291 in the third round, the 10-stroke deficit proved too difficult to overcome, and the Cavaliers finished at fifth place. After tying for first in last year's tournament, Nielson finished second this year, one shot behind McChrystal. It was the 11th top-10 performance of her career.
Collins and freshmen Brittany Altomare and Nicole Agnello finished notably with 41-, 31- and 53-place finishes, respectively, as well.
The Cavaliers resume play March 26-28 in the Liz Murphey Classic, which will be hosted by Georgia.
-compiled by William Hrachovina