Penn State freshman Madelein Herr, a Council Rock North product, fell back a little in the final round of the Hurricane Invitational Wednesday, settling for a 12th-place finish while it was same old, same old for reigning Big Ten co-champion Northwestern, which dominated The Biltmore in Coral Gables, Fla. on its way to a fourth straight team title behind repeat individual champion Hannah Kim.
Herr, the District One Class AAA champion as a senior, carded a final round of 3-over-par 75 over The Biltmore, a 6,150-yard, par-72 classic Donald Ross design to finish at 2-over 218.
But there was no denying Kim and Northwestern, No. 16 in the latest Golfstat rankings. Kim, a junior from Chula Vista, Calif., had seven birdies in a final round of 5-under 67 as she rallied to claim the individual title for the second straight year with a 6-under 210 total.
She sparked the Wildcats to a final round of 6-under 282 for a 54-hole total of 5-under 859, seven shots clear of Big Ten rival Michigan. The No. 34 Wolverines had a 2-under 284 for a 2-over 866 total. Louisville struggled to a final-round 297 to finish third at 7-over 871, but it was a second straight strong showing for the Cardinals, who were third at last week’s Central District Invitational and might see another move up from their No. 46 ranking.
Host Miami, the highest-ranked team in the field at No. 14, finally got it together on its home track, carding a 2-under 286 to finish fourth at 13-over 877. Barry University validated its status as the No. 2 team in Division II, posting a final-round 295 to grab fifth at 883.
No. 49 East Carolina surged up the leaderboard with a 1-under 287 to take sixth at 886. No. 72 Penn State was unable to build on its solid opening round and carded a final-round 300, but a seventh-place finish at 892 is not bad in the 15-team field filled with top-50 teams.
Louisville’s Lauren Hartlage, a freshman from Elizabethtown, Ky., capped a really solid tournament with a 1-under 71 to claim runnerup honors at 4-under 212. Hartlage had only one bad round out of six between the Central District Invitational in Port St. Lucie, where she finished fourth, and the Hurricane this week.
Kim’s teammate, Janet Mao, a sophomore from Johns Creek, Ga., had a final round of 2-under 70 to head a group of four players tied for third at 3-under 213.
Michigan had two players in that foursome at 213, Elodie Van Dievort, a sophomore from Belgium who had a final-round 69, and Emily White, a junior from Saline, Mich. who posted a final-round 71 to go with a 2-under 70 in the opening round and an even-par 72 in the middle round.
Barry’s Tilda Larsson, a sophomore from Sweden, proved she could hang with the big girls from Division I as she matched par with a 72 to round out the group at 3-under.
Northwestern had a third player finish in the top 10 as Stephanie Lau, a sophomore from Fullerton, Calif. ended up alone in eighth place at 1-under 215 after a final-round 73. Sarah Cho, a junior from San Diego, matched par in the final round with a 72 to finish in a tie for 20th at 5-over 221. It was an off week for Kacie Komoto, Northwestern’s veteran senior from Honolulu, Hawaii who had a final-round 74 to finish tied for 42nd at 225.
Penn State’s best round of the day belonged to sophomore Lauren Waller, the former Canon McMillan standout. Waller fired a 2-under 70 in the final round to finish tied for 13th at 3-over 219, just a shot behind her teammate Herr.
Graduate student Kate Granahan, the former Parkland standout who is the elder stateswoman in this group of Nittany Lion youngsters, had a 75 to finish 51st at 227. Sophomore Cara Basso, the former Villa Maria Academy standout, struggled home with an 80 to finish tied for 52nd at 228. Sophomore Jackie Rogowicz, a two-time District One champion at Pennsbury, never got it going at The Biltmore as her final-round 82 left her in 83rd place at 243.
Ashni Dhruva, a freshman from Katy, Texas, made the most of her opportunity to compete as an individual. She struggled to a final-round 79, but had a solid week, finishing tied for 58th at 230.