Purdue junior Aurora Kan, the 2010 PIAA champion as a senior at Chichester, continued to be a consistent force at the top of the lineup for a young group of Boilermakers that is improving from tournament to tournament.
Kan, a three-time Daily Times Player of the Year, strung together rounds of 71, 74 and 72 over LSU’s 6,251-yard, par-72 University Club layout to finish alone in fourth at 1-over 217 in a tough field that gathered for the Lady Tiger Classic that concluded with 36 holes Saturday.
Kan actually was the only player to better par on the first day of the tournament as her 1-under 71 gave her the lead and helped the Boilermakers jump in front in the team scoring with a 297 total.
The individual title went to Gaby Lopez as she had rounds of 74, 71 and 68 for a 3-under 213 total. She won in a playoff after being matched at the number by Madeline Sagstrom (72-72-69) of the host Tigers and Ashley Holder (73-70-70) of Central Florida.
Lopez led the Razorbacks to the team title as, after an opening-round 302, they surged to rounds of 292 and 288 to finish at 882, eight shots clear of runnerup Central Florida. Kentucky (302-298-299—899) was third and the host Tigers (304-302-299—905) took fourth.
After the strong opening round, Purdue fell back a little with rounds of 305 and 304 for a 906 total that left them in fifth place, one back of LSU and seven behind the third-place Wildcats.
Kan had six birdies during Saturday’s double-round, four of them on par-3 holes.
Freshman August Kim was Purdue’s second-highest finisher as she ended up in a tie for 37th at 231 with rounds of 74, 79 and 78.
Sophomores Vinh Hoa Ngo (74-83-76) and Anna Appert (78-77-78) were two of three players who shared 45th place at 233. Junior Johanna Tillstrom (83-75-81) finished in a tie for 62nd at 239.
All of the youngsters showed flashes for the Boilermakers. They just need to be more consistent, which is easier said than done in this sport.
More Big Ten returns
Two of Purdue’s strongest Big Ten rivals, Penn State and Illinois, teed it up in the Briar’s Creek Invitational Tuesday in Johns Island, S.C.
Another strong 17-team field did the opposite of the Lady Tiger, opening with 36 holes Monday before concluding with 18 holes Tuesday.
Penn State Christina Vosters fired a final-round 68 for a 2-under 215 total that gave her her first collegiate individual victory. She led the Nittany Lions, who had a strong fall and have kept the momentum going, to second place in the team chase. They had rounds of 309, 294 and 289 for an 892 total that left them four shots back of team champion Texas Tech (299-303-286—888).
Junior Ellen Ceresko, the two-time reigning Pennsylvania Amateur champion, had rounds of 73, 75 and 75 to finish in a tie for 15th at 223.
Jackie Calamaro, the 2009 PIAA champion as a senior at Radnor, did not make the trip with her Illini teammates. Illinois battled back from a slow start to post rounds of 316, 310 and 293 and finish 11th at 919. The Illini were led by the trio of Ember Schuldt (82-76-71), Stephanie Miller (78-79-72) and Emily Joers (80-75-74), all of whom ended up in a tie for 37th at 229.
A couple of other names familiar to followers of the District One golf scene also teed it up at Briar’s Creek. Maryland senior Emily Gimpel, a former Mount St. Joseph standout, had rounds of 79, 77 and 74 to finish in a tie for 43rd at 230. And Kansas junior Gabby DiMarco, who lost to Chichester’s Kan in a playoff at the 2010 PIAA Tournament as a senior at West Chester East, had rounds of 84, 81 and 78 to finish 77th at 243.
Gimpel’s Terrapins finished in a tie for 12th at 920, while DiMarco’s Jayhawks were seventh at 903. Another strong Big Ten program, Wisconsin, finished in a tie for eighth at 907.
Kim wins at Ballamor
Radnor freshman Gabby Kim continued her strong play in the cold and wind as she fired a 77 to capture the 13-to-15 division at a Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour stop Sunday at Ballamor Golf Club in Egg Harbor Township, N.J.
It was the lowest round Kim has posted in a Junior Tour event and gave her a two-shot edge on Esther Park of Wilmington, Del.
Conestoga senior Robert Olseski III finished second in the 16-to-18 division with a 79, one shot back of division winner Tommy Lewis of Doylestown.
Brandon Dejesse of Broomall finished 14th with a 99.
Paul Fedele of Easton won the 13-to-15 division with a 77, one shot better than Luca Jezzeny of Furlong. Christopher Perullo of Swarthmore finished 15th with a 115.
Among the nine-holers, Dolan Cox of Newtown Square was the runnerup with a 45, June Kim of Wayne was third with a 51, Nicky Scarpone of Havertown was fourth with a 52 and Hayden Smith of Havertown finished sixth with a 56.