Look for the ranking for Aurora Kan, the 2010 PIAA champion as a senior at Chichester, and the Purdue women’s golf team to be headed up after two sensational weeks for the Boilermakers.
Purdue was ranked No. 44 in the country entering this weekend’s Liz Murphy Collegiate Classic at the University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens, Georgia and proceeded to knock off three top-25 teams and claim the Black Bracket title.
The collegiate women have joined their male counterparts and their NCAA Tournament will ultimately be contested at match play after medal play to determine the individual champion and team qualifying for match play. So it makes sense to stage a match-play event like this to prepare the top teams for what may await when it comes time to determine a national champion.
Kan, a three-time Daily Times Player of the Year at Chichester, helped the Boilermakers clinch the Black Bracket title Sunday as she battled back from an early deficit to claim a 2 and 1 victory over Stanford’s Lauren Kim that secured a 3-2 victory for Purdue over the 14th-ranked Cardinal.
With the match all square with three holes to play, Kan dropped in a 20-foot birdie putt on the seventh hole and then made par on eight to close out Lauren Kim.
The win capped a weekend of strong play up and down the Purdue lineup.
Against Stanford, Marta Martin, the rapidly improving freshman from Spain, completed a 3-0 weekend with a 4 and 3 victory over Casey Danielson. Anna Appert Lund, the junior from Sweden who is on a serious roll the last couple of weeks, also claimed a 4 and 3 victory over Mariah Stackhouse, a member of the U.S. Curtis Cup team last year.
Saturday, Martin claimed a 3 and 2 victory over Kelli Murphy to lead the Boilermakers to a 3-2 victory over 22nd-ranked Auburn and came back with a 4 and 3 win over Cammie Gray to highlight Purdue’s 3-2 win over 21st-ranked Alabama, which has been one of the top programs in the country in recent years.
Purdue’s other winners against Auburn were the Boilermakers’ two Swedes, with Appert Lund knocking off Jamie Yun, 4 and 3, and Johanna Tillstrom, a senior, claiming a 4 and 3 victory over Victoria Trapani.
Kan, the senior leader for Purdue, bounced back from a 3 and 2 loss to Auburn’s Alex Harrell to claim a 6 and 5 victory over Alabama’s Mia Landegren. Sophomore August Kim got Purdue’s other match win over the Tide, a 5 and 4 decision over Nicole Morales.
Appert Lund’s match with Emma Talley was called after 14 holes since it didn’t affect the team outcome, but Appert Lund was only 2-down to the 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion.
The event began with a qualifying round and Purdue earned its spot in the Black Bracket with a 318 total and a ninth-place finish in tough conditions.
Martin showed she was ready to play as she carded a 2-over 74 to finish sixth in a field that included many of the top individual players in the country. Kan’s 79 was Purdue’s second-best total, followed by an 81 by August Kim, an 84 by Appert Lund and an 86 for Tillstrom.
Appert Lund arrived in Athens as the reigning Big Ten Player of the Week coming off a brilliant performance at the Mountainview Collegiate, hosted by Missouri and Kansas St. at the Mountainview Golf Club in Tucson, Arizona.
Appert Lund finished in a tie for second in the individual standings with a pair of 72s sandwiching a sizzling 6-under 66 in the middle round for a 6-under 210 total. It was the 10th-best 54-hole effort in Purdue’s history. Florida International’s Meghan MacLaren took medalist honors as she was a shot better than Appert Lund at 7-under 209.
Appert Lund also led Purdue to one of the strongest team showings in school history as the Boilermakers put together rounds of 292, 283 and 289 for an even-par 864 total that gave them a share of third place with co-host Kansas St. Big Ten rival Ohio St. took team honors with an 8-under 856 total followed by runnerup Florida International at 3-under 861.
Appert Lund’s showing overshadowed one of the strongest tournaments in Kan’s four years at Purdue. The 2010 Pennsylvania Women’s Amateur champion finished seventh with rounds of 73, 70 and 69 for a 4-under 212 total.
Martin (73-71-77) and August Kim (74-76-71) landed on the same 5-over 221 figure as they ended up in a tie for 40th. Tillstrom had rounds of 77, 76 and 77 for a 230 total that left her in a tie for 83rd.