Kane’ohe, Hawaii – Senior Leslie Cloots shot a career-best 6-under par 66 on Wednesday to lead Carolina in the final round of the Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational on Wednesday. Cloots’s round was the best of any player for the entire tournament.
As a team, Carolina shot a 7-over par 295 to finish at 23-over par for the tournament and in eighth place.
Cloots’s 66 was enabled by eight birdies, the most in any one round for the tournament. After a double bogey on No. 5 to drop to 3-under par for the round, Cloots finished her round with birdie, par, birdie, and birdie to set the mark. After starting the day tied for 34th, Cloots rose to a tie for ninth, her highest individual finish this spring.
Junior Bryana Nguyen shot her second straight 2-over par 74 to finish tied for 36th at 8-over par. Sophomore Kelly Whaley shot a 5-over par 77 to finish tied for 32nd at 7-over par. Freshman Brynn Walker recovered from a rough start to play her last 14 holes in even par to shoot 78 and finish at 9-over par for the tournament, which left her tied for 40th. Junior Lexi Harkins shot an 84 and finished tied for 85th at 26-over.
“Very excited for Leslie's great round today,” said head coach Jan Mann. “She struck the ball very well and only missed one green. The greens were very small so that was quite an accomplishment. Lexi was sick the entire tournament and I think the unusually hot temperatures and walking 36 holes yesterday really took it out of her. She did a great job of hanging in there throughout. We put ourselves in a bit of a hole after the first round but we were proud of how everyone on the team fought back. Hopefully, we will have a better start to our next event.”
As a team, the Tar Heels led the field for the tournament in par-3 scoring with a combined 10-over par for the three rounds.
The team title was won by 16th ranked Texas A&M at 5-under par. Maddie Szeryk of Texas A&M won the individual medalist title by four shots with a tournament record 9-under par.
The tournament was played at the Kane’ohe Klipper Golf Course, a par-72, 6,099 yard test.
Next up for Carolina is a trip to Johns Isle, S.C. for the Briar Creek Invitational. The two-day tournament will be played next Monday and Tuesday.