Powers leads Jayhawks

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Powers leads Jayhawks at invite

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Kansas golfer Jennifer Clark tees off on the sixth hole during the second day of ...

For five hours, Emily Powers coolly drove, chipped and putted her way to one of her best 18-hole rounds of golf this season.

Only those precious minutes after that round had the Kansas University junior on edge.

Powers anxiously waited to see if her 1-under-par 71 would hold up against the scores of her opponents in the final round of the Marilynn Smith Sunflower Invitational at Alvamar Public Golf Course on Tuesday afternoon.

Not until the last results trickled in did her nerves finally dissipate.

Powers' final-round 71 helped her make up a three-shot deficit on teammate Jennifer Clark, giving Powers a three-round score of 223 and her first individual victory as a collegiate golfer.

"I'm just happy that I finally won a tournament," Powers said. "I've been trying for the past three years. I had a good season last year, but I never quite got to where I could win. It's nice to be able to win my first tournament and win here at home."

Powers said the score of Nebraska's Kate White concerned her most. White was one stroke ahead of Powers after two rounds. But when White's third-round 78 was posted, Powers dipped her head and took a deep breath before receiving congratulations from her teammates.

As a team, the Jayhawks weren't quite as fortunate. KU placed fifth out of 16 squads with a 934.

Oral Roberts and Nebraska both shot 926, but the Golden Eagles defeated the Cornhuskers in a two-hole playoff to claim first.

KU coach Erin O'Neil said she thought her team placed too much pressure on itself to perform well at its only home tournament of the year. While the Jayhawks fired 308 as a team in both the second and third rounds, a 318 in round one cost them dearly.

"I think that's what got us a little bit," O'Neil said. "We pushed too hard in that first round. And it's easy to do when it's your home event to try too hard. It would be one thing if we played tournaments here all the time."

Perhaps even more confounding, Kansas likely would have won the tournament had Clark's three rounds counted towards the team score. Clark did not qualify as one of KU's top five golfers in the week leading up to the Invitational and instead played as an individual. She lost an 18-hole playoff with teammate Meghan Gockel this week during practice for the fifth and final spot.

Gockel ended up with a 244 overall to Clark's 225.

"It's definitely a motivator," Clark said of not making the top five. "I was playing all the greens, and I was rolling the balls up great. I just had to keep it going, stay calm and put it together."

KU's Meghna Bal finished tied for 20th overall with a 236. Grace Thiry and Kalynd Carson shot 238 and 241, respectively.

Given Clark's impressive finish, the Jayhawks' lineup could look a bit different next week when they travel to Columbia, Mo., for the Johnie Imes Invitational.

Comments

Dyrk Dugan

way to go Emily! and Nebraska didn't win the team title either.....way to go ORU.

10 years, 4 months ago

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Joe Ross

We're proud of ya, Em'. You are a great representative of this University. Strong work!

10 years, 4 months ago

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lance1jhawk

That's awesome.... Can she run block?

10 years, 4 months ago

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Jonathan Andrews

Congratulations, Ms. Powers.

10 years, 4 months ago

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MinnesotaJay

Rock chalk, Emily.

10 years, 4 months ago

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