May 21, 2010
WILMINGTON, N.C. - The seventh-ranked Purdue women's golf team recorded the second-lowest four-round team score in NCAA Championships history to win its first national championship on Friday. The Boilermakers fired a 295 in the final round to finish with a one-over par 1153, which is a school record low score for 72 holes.
"I think it's a tribute to our players and how hard they worked to prepare for this championship," head coach Devon Brouse said. "It's also a reflection of the level of support our golf program and the entire athletics department receives. I'm a Purdue graduate and my wife's a Purdue graduate and I've always felt like Purdue is a special school, and I'm proud and happy to be able to contribute. It's been a great honor to work with this group of young ladies. They are extremely talented, obviously, and they fought hard this week. We had a great week of preparation last week and it paid off."
Brouse, in his 12th season at Purdue, was named the National Golf Coaches Association National and Regional Coach of the Year on Friday night.
Just one stroke separated the Boilermakers from second-place Southern California, and it came down to the final group on the last hole before Purdue's fate was decided. Purdue held a two-stroke lead when Maude-Aimee LeBlanc bogeyed the par-five 18th hole. Southern California's Jennifer Song had a 10-foot birdie putt to force a playoff, but missed it to give Purdue the win. Alabama finished third with a five-over par 1,157.
With the final margin so close, the Boilers had a subdued reaction at the finish, awaiting confirmation that came with the official review of the players scorecards. In the end, the scores held and Purdue became the first Big Ten women's golf team to win a national championship.
LeBlanc finished one-under par for the day with a 71 and tied for third place as an individual with a four-round total of 281. Her cumulative score ties for the second lowest in school history for a 72-hole tournament.
"Winning a team title is the biggest accomplishment that I could have achieved as a collegiate player," LeBlanc said. "I am proud to have won a national championship with my teammates and my coaches here at Purdue."
Oklahoma State's Caroline Hedwall won the individual title with a 12-under par 276. She started the day in second place but recorded a 68 in the final round to win by four strokes.
Purdue's Numa Gulyanamitta tied for ninth place after recording a 74 on Friday for a two-under par 286. Freshman Laura Gonzalez-Escallon struggled a bit in the final round, carding a 76, but finished tied for 21st with a 292. Thea Hoffmeister tied for 67th. She totaled a 301 after shooting a 75 on the last day. Freshman Paula Reto also carded 75 in round four and finished with a 302 to tie for 76.
Purdue now has won three NCAA team championships (also 1961 men's golf and 1999 women's basketball), and the 1932 men's basketball team was selected as national champions by the Helms Athletic Foundation (the first NCAA-sanctioned postseason tournament was not held until 1939).
The 2010 NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championships was held at the Country Club of Landfall, a par-72, 6,358-yard venue. The event was extremely well attended and large galleries gathered on several holes. University of North Carolina, Wilmington served as the tournament host and the good weather from Thursday continued in the final round.
For the full tournament results, please see the link at the top of the story.