Golf records three top 10 finishes in final regular season competition

| Contributing Reporter

The Washington University women’s golf team completed its regular season campaign this weekend with its three golfers all finishing in the top 10 at Millikin University’s Take Back the Night Challenge. 

Since the Bears only played with three golfers, they did not finish with a team ranking in the competition. All three players, freshmen Caraline Oakley, Gwynnie Lee and Krystina Wilson, made significant improvements over the two day tournament, each improving by at least four strokes from Saturday to Sunday. Coming in third, Oakley shot four strokes lower on the second day combining for a 152 two-day total, a personal best for the freshman whose accolades also include a win at the Dechert Classic earlier this season. In her highest individual finish for the year, Wilson placed fifth overall and had a two-day total of 158. Wilson also took off eight strokes from day one to day two of the tournament. Lee finished in a three-way tie for eighth place and took off an impressive seven strokes on the second day on her way to a total score of 163. This season also marks the third consecutive year that the Bears have finished in the top 25 of the Women’s Golf Coach’s Poll, according to the Women’s Golf Coaches Association website.

This is Wilson’s third tournament of the season and both her best score and highest finish in her Wash. U. career. Adapting to her new playing environment in St. Louis after growing up in California has been a struggle, but it has helped her to improve her overall game. “Playing in the wind is pretty rough for me, because I had never experienced that before,” she said. “So I’m just hitting lower shots, and it just goes to the wind more. And when it’s colder outside as well, the ball doesn’t go as far. So I just need to know what my yardage is and my distances.”

For Wilson, her first collegiate golf season has been challenging despite the ample competition opportunities. She has been able to get substantial playing time thanks to the small team size, but the cold St. Louis winter put a damper on many of the fun playing opportunities that the team would normally get. “It’s kind of depressing, honestly,” she said. “When it’s cold, you go on the simulator with two players and a coach, and it kind of sucks not having the whole team there.”

Wilson has enjoyed being able to play as a bigger team when the weather and health restrictions permitted it. “Practices outside are nice when all of us can come together,” she said. “We’re a really close team.” 

The Millikin tournament wraps up the regular season for the No. 21 team. The team will have about a three-week break before the championship begins on May 11. Oakley is hoping to be selected for championships as an individual player after adding a strong third place finish to an already impressive resume. “She’s carried this whole team through this season,” Wilson said. The selection show, which could grant Oakley an individual spot in the championships, is on May 3. 

More stories from the Student Life sports section:

Emma Walter, a cross country walk-on, is unbeaten so far this track season

We ranked the University Athletic Association mascots three different ways

Why new NCAA transfer rules could ruin college basketball 

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