Tulane women’s golf AAC champions after heroic comeback

Mark Keplinger, Sports Editor

tulane women's golf
Tulane women’s golf won the American Athletic Conference championship for the first time in program history. (Courtesy of Grant Halverson of the American Athletic Conference)

Tulane University women’s golf won the American Athletic Conference championship, the first ever in program history.

Hosted in Pinehurst, North Carolina by East Carolina University, the Green Wave had a brilliant second and third day of competition to climb the leaderboards and claim the team championship. 

In individual competition, Sandra Vazquez managed to get on the podium, finishing in third place at the end of the competition.

The Green Wave started day one on April 17 facing off against nine other conference schools, but quickly found itself in a large deficit. Tulane finished the day in eighth place, shooting 308 as a team. That score was 20 shots over par and 16 shots behind the leaders, the University of Houston Cougars. 

In individual competition, Carla Bernat finished the day tied for 10th after shooting 2-over-par, but the five leaders were at par. Daozeng Liu ended the day tied for 13th at 3-over-par, while Vazquez finished tied for 25th finishing 5-over-par.

tulane women's golf
Daozeng Liu finished the tournament tied for fourth place. (Courtesy of Grant Halverson of the American Athletic Conference)

Tulane came roaring back on the second day with a brilliant team performance. The Olive and Blue led the way shooting 289, which was six strokes better than the rest of the field. The Green Wave jumped from eighth place to fourth and narrowed Houston’s overall lead to 10 strokes.

Vazquez led the fightback with a brilliant performance, as she finished as the best golfer on day two and tied for second overall. Vazquez shot an astounding 10 strokes better than her first day. Liu also improved on her day one performance by two strokes, catapulting her into ninth place.

Tulane finished their incredible comeback effort on the third day. The team shot 295, with no other team shooting under 300 on the day. The previous leaders, Houston, completely collapsed, with the Cougars shooting 310 on the day. Houston was able to secure second place but ended the tournament five strokes behind the Green Wave.

Vazquez finished the tournament third overall, but just two strokes behind winner Kennedy Pedigo of SMU. Liu finished a shot behind Vazquez in fourth place, a well-deserved finish for the sophomore. Bernat finished top 10 with a seventh place finish.

tulane women's golf
Sandra Vazquez, who finished third, being counseled by head coach Stew Burke. (Courtesy of Grant Halverson of the American Athletic Conference)

With the conference win, Tulane is automatically entered into the NCAA regional tournament. The Green Wave will await the location and their other competitors, but the competition will be held from May 9-11.

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