DURANGO, Colo. (May 9, 2018) – For three straight years, an Oklahoma Christian golfer has made a dramatic final-day charge in the NCAA Division II West Super Regional tournament. On Wednesday, it was Kate Goodwin‘s turn to shine.
The junior from Tulsa birdied her first three holes and shot a sizzling 2-under-par 70 – the lowest score of the day at Hillcrest Golf Club – to vault herself into an individual Super Regional co-championship, the first in OC women’s golf history. In doing so, Goodwin earned herself a spot in the Division II Championship, to be played later this month in Houston.
Goodwin started the day one shot out of earning the last of the three national-tournament bids from the Super Regional and she ended it with her third career tournament title. She posted an overall score of 7-over 223 in the three-day Super Regional, tying with West Texas A&M’s Holly Winter, who shot a final-round 72. The individual tournament title was Winter’s first.
“She just played flawless golf,” OC coach Greg Lynn said of Goodwin. “It was a lot of pressure but it was cool to watch it and be part of it.”
Two years ago, OC senior Audrey Meisch shot a career-best 4-under 68 in the Super Regional at Brookside Country Club in Stockton, Calif., claiming the second individual berth for the national tournament. Last year, OC’s Abigail Rigsby, then a freshman, rebounded from a first-round 83 to shoot rounds of 1-under 71 and even-par 72 at Wichita Falls Country Club in Wichita Falls, Texas. That squeezed her into a playoff that she won to earn the final individual berth.
This year, Goodwin was the last of the six individual players invited to compete in the 12-team, 66-woman tournament, and she took advantage of the opportunity. She was 19th individually after shooting a 78 in the first round and 11th after a 75 in the second round.
She quickly moved up the leaderboard with the best start of her career, with birdies at No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 and No. 5 to put her at 4-under for the round. She bogeyed No. 10 but quickly rebounded with a birdie at No. 12. Her only misstep on the 6,348-yard course was a double bogey at No. 16, but by then she had a large cushion in the race for an individual national-tournament bid.
As she waited with her round finished, the golfers ahead of her stumbled over the final few holes, allowing her to move into a tie for the title.
“On the front nine, she hit nine fairways and nine greens (in regulation),” Lynn said. “She played flawless. She drove balls straight and long. She hit 15 greens. She kept her putter under control. Everything was easy. She just kept it in play, and that’s hard out there.
“For her to shoot like she has the last two days, she is really playing well. I have never seen her hit the ball this good.”
Dallas Baptist (Texas), West Texas A&M and California Baptist earned the three team bids from the Super Regional into the Division II Championship, which is set for May 16-19 at Bay Oaks Country Club in Houston. Joining Goodwin in earning individual berths were fifth-place finisher Casey Wild of Tarleton State (Texas) and sixth-place finisher Emily Brennan of Midwestern State (Texas).
Goodwin’s previous wins came as a freshman (the Diffie Ford-Lincoln Invitational at Kickingbird Golf Course in Edmond) and a sophomore (the Oklahoma Intercollegiate at Fort Sill Golf Course).
Her individual tournament win was the 16th in the program’s history. She’s one of only three players to have won three or more tournaments, joining Anna Arrese Cortadellas (eight) and Meisch (three).
Goodwin’s 70 tied for the ninth-best round in program history and her overall score of 5-over tied for the eighth-best 54-hole tournament score in program history. The individual postseason title was the second in program history, as Arrese Cortadellas won the 2012 Sooner Athletic Conference title.