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Virginia women’s golf places sixth at the Stanford Intercollegiate in final event of fall season

The Cavaliers were led by sophomore Megan Propeck’s personal best play in the final round

<p>Junior Jennifer Cleary finished tied for first out of all Virginia players in the field and tied for 13th overall over the three-round tournament.</p>

Junior Jennifer Cleary finished tied for first out of all Virginia players in the field and tied for 13th overall over the three-round tournament.

Following a seventh place finish at the Windy City Collegiate Classic, Virginia women’s golf traveled to Stanford, Calif. to play in the Stanford Intercollegiate. In their last event of the fall season, the Cavaliers fought against a challenging 19-team field before ultimately finishing in sixth place overall.

The Virginia lineup featured sophomore Amanda Sambach, sophomore Megan Propeck, junior Jennifer Cleary, senior Celeste Valinho and graduate student Riley Smyth. Freshman Maline Kraus also competed as an individual in her collegiate debut, meaning her score was not accounted into the team total.

The Cavaliers managed to shoot under par on the first day of the tournament and finished in fourth place after shooting a 2-under 282. Despite the strong score, Virginia found itself six strokes behind host team Stanford, who led the tournament at 8-under 276.

Smyth shot 2-under 69 in the first round with four birdies, including two impressive conversions on the par threes. Cleary finished in 15th place with a 1-under 70, just in front of Valinho, who shot an even 71.

On Saturday, Cleary had six birdies and posted a 70 for the second consecutive day, leading the Virginia team to keep its fourth-place position following the second round of the tournament. Overall, the team shot a 3-over 287. The Cardinals continued their relentless dominance over the field and led the event at 11-under 557 after the second day, seven strokes ahead of second-place San Jose State.

Propeck shot even par Saturday to move into 22nd place individually, and Sambach and Valinho were tied in 36th place just two strokes behind. Smyth took a step back in the second round, shooting a 10-over 81 to drop into 71st place. Krause shot 16 in the first round and 78 in the second round to begin Sunday in 89th place.

The Cavaliers entered the final round on Sunday morning in fourth place at 1-over 569 with hopes to improve a few spots after the day's round.

The team did not perform as well as they hoped, shooting 3-over 287 for the second day in a row to finish the tournament in sixth place. The win went to Stanford, who led for the majority of the tournament. Although a few players had some birdies, Virginia found success by minimizing mistakes overall. In total, they finished with 179 pars over the three-day tournament, good for second-best in the field. Although pars did not hurt the team, their play was not enough to overcome the teams who repeatedly shot under par and kept their bogey numbers low.

Although the Cavaliers did not win, there were individual successes. Propeck shot a 2-under 69 in the final round to vault into a tie with Cleary for 13th place overall at 1-under 212. Propeck’s round of 69, final score of 212 and 13th place finish were career bests for the young golfer. Part of these successes could be attributed to her phenomenal play on par-3 holes, where she shot 2-under for the week with an average score of 2.87.

There was also another tie between teammates, with Sambach and Valinho both finishing in 48th place with an overall score of 220. Smyth finished in 57th place with a final round of even par. Krause finished her first collegiate event in 94th place with a final round of 77.

Although this was the final tournament in the fall, the Cavaliers will continue play in the new year at the Guadalajara Country Club Collegiate Invitational. The tournament will begin Feb. 5, 2023 in Guadalajara Jalisco, Mexico.