WICHITA FALLS, Texas (May 10, 2017) – After shooting her worst-ever collegiate score – an 83 – in the opening round of the NCAA Division II West Super Regional, Oklahoma Christian’s Abigail Rigsby steeled herself for the long comeback ahead, not knowing if it would be enough.
Just barely, it was.
Rigsby’s even-par 72 – the second-best score Wednesday by any golfer – at Wichita Falls Country Club squeezed her into a two-person playoff for one spot in next week’s Division II Championship. The freshman from Courtenay, British Columbia, won with a par on the opening hole and now will be headed to Findlay Country Club in Findlay, Ohio, where the national tournament will be played next week.
“It’s kind of surreal making it to nationals,” Rigsby said. “I didn’t think I’d make it my freshman year.”
Rigsby is the second OC player in as many years to qualify for the Division II tournament as an individual, and she did it in a similar fashion to former OC standout Audrey Meisch, who rallied on the final day of last year’s Super Regional. Rigsby’s rally, though, extended over two days after her disastrous start to the tournament on Monday.
“I thought I had put myself out of it on Monday,” Rigsby said. “On Tuesday, I just wanted to go out and try to enjoy myself and not let my emotions get the better of me, and just do the best I could. I ended up having an under-par round.”
The philosophy was much the same for Wednesday, except Rigsby felt awful, dealing with the effects of what she thinks was a case of food poisoning. Even so, she birdied her third hole, the par-4 No. 12, and got to 1-under for her round with a birdie on the par-5 No. 3. She had two bogeys in her next four holes before closing with a clutch birdie on the par-4 No. 9.
On Tuesday, she posted the best score in the 66-player field, a 1-under 71 that also was her career-best round. On Wednesday, despite her illness, she was one of only two players to shoot even-par or better on the 6,149-yard course, and she finished the tournament at 10-over 226. After her birdie on the final hole, she then had to wait.
The top three individual finishers who weren’t on the three teams that qualified for the national tournament – West Texas A&M, Dallas Baptist (Texas) and St. Mary’s (Texas) – would make the national field. Casey Wild of Tarleton State (Texas) finished at 7-over, sealing one spot. Linnea Karlsson of California State-Monterey Bay snagged another spot with birdies on two of her final three holes to finish at 8-over.
But Mary Weinstein of Regis (Colo.) stumbled over her final two holes, posting a double bogey and bogey, to finish at 10-over, putting her into a playoff on No. 18 with Rigsby for the final spot.
Rigsby hit a 300-yard tee shot into the fairway, while Weinstein’s shot found the rough. Rigsby’s second shot, a wedge from about 70 yards, landed on the green, about 30 yards from the hole, and she two-putted for par. Weinstein’s second shot went into a greenside bunker and she couldn’t recover, eventually bogeying the hole.
Rigsby tied for 10th, her fifth career top-10 finish in 12 tournaments.
OC’s second individual in the tournament, sophomore Kate Goodwin, finished tied for 46th at 241, a six-spot improvement over her second-round standing. Goodwin shot an 80 on Wednesday and closed with a pair of birdies over her final nine holes, at the par-5 No. 3 and the par-4 No. 5.
Rogers State’s Mica Eastin finished tied for 22nd. The Hillcat junior shot 13-over in the 54-hole tournament after firing a four-over par 76 in the final round.
Barmasse notches top-10 finish
STOCKTON, Calif. – Rogers State’s Hagen Barmasse finished in the top 10 of the NCAA Division II Men’s Golf Regional at Brookside Country Club Wednesday. The senior fired his lowest round of the 54 hole tournament with a 4-under par 68 to finish with a three-round total of 208 for 8-under par.
Barmasse, the first Hillcat in program history to compete in a NCAA Men’s Golf postseason event, finished seven strokes out of first place and four strokes from qualifying to the NCAA Division II Men’s Golf National Championship at Reunion Resort’s Watson Course at Kissimmee, Florida.