The Purdue Boilermakers and three-time Daily Times Player of the Year Aurora Kan are heating up at the perfect time of the season.
Purdue, ranked 11th and 14th in the two major Division I polls, won its second straight team title as the Boilermakers finished eight shots ahead of the field at the web.com Invitational, which concluded Tuesday at Marsh Landing Country Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
Putting together stellar rounds of 290, 284 and 283, the Boilermakers’ 7-under 857 total was the third-lowest 54-hole team total in program history. Iowa St. finished second at 865 (289-290-286) and Texas Tech was third at 869 (293-287-289).
Purdue was led, as usual, by its two talented seniors, South African Paula Reto and Laura Gonzalez-Escallon of Belgium.
Reto won the individual title in a playoff with Gabriella Dominguez of Texas Tech after they finished tied at 4-under 212. Reto’s consistency was on display as she finished up with a 2-under 70 after a pair of 71s in the first two rounds over the 6,056-yard, par-72 Marsh Landing layout.
Gonzalez-Escallon was another shot back in a tie for third at 3-under 213 with rounds of 72, 70 and 71.
But Purdue’s best round of the final day belonged to Kan, who won the 2010 PIAA championship as a senior at Chichester. The sophomore fired a final-round of 3-under 69 that enabled her to finish fifth at 1-under 215, her personal-best 54-hole total at Purdue.
The 2010 Pennsylvania Women’s Amateur champion opened up with a 76 before going 2-under 70 in the middle round to set the stage for her final-round heroics. If Kan can continue to post numbers like that, she can combine with Reto and Gonzalez-Escallon to give the Purdue a formidable three-deep threat at the top of its lineup.
Freshman Margaux Vanmol, who, like Gonzalez-Escallon, hails from Belgium, finished in a tie for 31st at 223 after a final-round 78 and redshirt senior Kishi Sinha of India finished with her best round of the tournament, a 1-over 73, to end up in a tie for 43rd at 226.
Brooke Beegle, a freshman from Fishers, Ind., competed as an individual and tied for 63rd at 230.
Purdue heads for Buckeye Country and the Lady Buckeye Invitational at Ohio St. April 20 and 21 before the Big Ten Tournament is held in French Lick, Ind., April 26 to28.
Before winning that 2010 PIAA championship, Kan was the runnerup the previous two years and both the girls who beat her were in the field at the web.com
The 2009 PIAA champion was, of course, Radnor’s Jackie Calamaro, who denied Kan the honor of being a four-time Daily Times Player of Year, by grabbing the honor in 2009-10, in large part by winning the state title.
Calamaro was in the field at Marsh Landing with Purdue’s Big Ten rival, the University of Illinois. The Illini finished 16th in the team standings at the web.com with rounds of 309, 300 and 303 for a 912 total that was the best team score the Illini have posted in 2012-13.
The Illini were led by redshirt sophomore Samantha Postillion, whose final-round 73 left her in a tie for 11th at 3-over 219. Junior Ember Schuldt was another shot back at 220 in a tie for 19th. Senior Crystal Smith finished in a tie for 90th at 238.
Calamaro, a redshirt sophomore, fired a sizzling 2-over 74 in the middle round, but flanked it with an 83 and an 82 to finish in a tie for 92nd at 239.
Michelle Mayer rounded out the Illinois scoring with a 247 total that left her in a tie for 99th.
The 2008 PIAA champion at Kennett was Christine Shimel, who teed it for Maryland at webcom. Shimel, a senior, broke par in the final round with a 1-under 71 to finish in a tie for 44th at 222. Shimel helped the Terps finished 10th in the team chase at 900.
Villanova on a roll
As was reported in the Daily Times print product of Monday (April 8), Villanova’s men’s team rolled to the team title in the Yale Spring Opener at a Yale Golf Course that is considered one of the finest collegiate layouts in the country. It was designed by Charles Blair Macdonald, co-founder of the United States Golf Association.
It was the second team title of the 2012-13 campaign for the Wildcats, who also took the Lehigh Invitational in October.
Villanova was led by its senior co-captains, Michael Kania, a two-time Inter-Ac League champion at The Haverford School, and Steve Skurla, who appropriately finished in a tie for second with identical scorecards.
Kania and Skurla both shot 73 in the first round 69 in the second round for 142 totals that left them a shot back of individual winner Bernie D’Amato of Princeton.
More importantly, they led Villanova to rounds of 293 and 290 that left them with a 583 total that was nine shots clear of host Yale, the runnerup.
Senior Derek Jones (71-77—148) finished in a tie for 12th, sophomore Teddy Brennan (76-75—151), another former Haverford School standout, finished 22nd, and junior Robby Meador (84-82—166) finished 63rd.
Some other interesting names popped up on the Yale Spring Opener scoreboard.
Greg Jarmas, the 2009 PIAA runnerup at Lower Merion, was Princeton’s third highest finisher in a tie for 35th with rounds of 74 and 79 for a 153 total.
Temple finished in a tie for fourth at 598 and was led by freshman Brandon Matthews, the 2010 PIAA champion as a junior at Pittston. Matthews had rounds of 72 and 74 for a 146 total that left him in a tie for 12th.
Haverford School All-Delco Nelson Hargrove, a senior at Brown, helped the Brown Bears finish in a tie for eighth as he had rounds of 78 and 77 for a 155 total that left him in a tie for 38th.
And former Episcopal Academy standout Bobby Svigals was the low man for Franklin & Marshall as the sophomore had rounds of 84 and 74 for a 158 total that left him in a tie for 44th.