Minnesota Golf Association

Burnham, Neisen Barely Miss Qualifying for NCAA

May 9, 2018

Four years ago, New Prague's Kenzie Neisen and Wayzata's Sarah Burnham ended their high school careers by putting on what probably ranks as the greatest show in the history of the Minnesota state high school tournament. 

Having tied Neisen for the Class AAA championship a year earlier with a record low score of 140 at Bunker Hills, Burnham bettered that total by four strokes in 2014 with an 8-under-par 136. But she didn't win, because Neisen shot 135. No one in Class AAA has come close to matching either of those scores since then. 

On Wednesday, Neisen and Burnham both concluced their college careers in dramatic fashion at NCAA regional tournaments 1,750 miles apart. This time, however, the two seniors both came up one shot short. 

There were four regionals played this week. The top six teams from each advanced to the 2018 NCAA Championships, which will be played May 18-23 at Karsten Creek GC in Stillwater, Okla. The top three individual finishers not on an advancing team also qualified from each regional to play at Karsten Creek.

Karsten Creek is the home course for Oklahoma State, the team Neisen plays for. But the Cowgirls won't be playing there at the end of May. They shot a combined 870 at TPC Harding Park GC and tied San Diego State for seventh place in the San Francisco Regional. Colorado took sixth -- the last spot among the advancing teams -- with an 869. Neisen shot a final round of 75 for a 54-hole total of 219 and a tie for 33rd place.

Her teammate Emma Broze made it as an individual. She closed with a 72 for an aggregate of 213 and a tie for eighth. She then defeated North Carolina's Lauren Kowohl to claim the third individual berth in the NCAA.

The Cowgirls Stephanie Astrup was in position to shoot the best score of her college career. Through 17 holes, she was 4 under par, but she made a double bogey at the 18th and had to settle for a 70 (which tied her career best) and 219, putting her in the tie for 33rd with Neisen. 

In the Austin (Texas) Regional, Burnham's Michigan State team finished eighth, but on the final day never really had a chance to make the top six. The Spartans combined for an 882 total, and that was 12 behind sixth-place Oklahoma.

Burnham, on the other hand, was right in the hunt for one of the individual berths. On Tuesday, she had struggled early, then got back into the thick of things by playing the last seven holes at the University of Texas Gofl Club in 4 under. The three-time MGA Women's Player of the Year concluded that round with three birdies in a row at the 16th (186 yards, par 3), 17th (384, par 4) and 18th (361, par 4) for a 72. On Wednesday, she was even par after making a bogey at the 10th (379, par 4), her only bogey of the day. But she bounced back with birdies at  the 11th (526, par 5) and the 13th (348, par 4) and posted a 70, which earned her a tie for fourth at 212 (4 under).

Unfortunately, one of the three players ahead of her, second-place Maddie Szeryk, plays for Texas A&M, which didn't make it as a team (the Aggies were seventh). And there were seven other players in the tie for fourth at 212, including Rose Huang of Brigham Young and Leionie Harm of Houston. Their teams didn't make it, either. 

So Burnham, Huang and Harm played off for the last two individual spots. All three made pars on the first four holes of the playoff, and then Huang made a birdie at the fifth. Burnham and Harm both parred the sixth, but at the seventh extra hole, Burnham hit her approach shot over the green and into a water hazard. She nearly chipped in for a par, but tapped in for a bogey. Harm then two-putted from 10 feet for her par -- and the last available spot.     


Austin, Texas

At University of Texas Golf Club

Par 72, 6,341 yards

Final results (the top six teams -- from a field of 18 -- qualify from each of the four regionals for the NCAA Championships, May 18-23 at Karsten Creek GC in Stillwater, Okla.)

1. Arkansas                 284-271-283--838

2. Texas                      281-285-283--849

T3. Auburn                 292-291-286-- 869

T3. Florida                  291-287-291--869

T3. Baylor                  288-293-188--869

6. Oklahoma              299-282-289--870

Did not advance

7. Texas A&M            295-286-297--878

8. Michigan State      285-302-295--882

Individuals (from each regional, the top three individuals whose teams did not advance earn spots in the NCAA as individuals)

1. Maria Fassi, Arkansas                   69-70-69--208

2. Maddie Szeryk, Texas A&M          68-69-72--209*

3. Dylan Kim, Arkansas                    70-68-73--211

T4. Rose Huang, Brigham Young     71-70-71--212*  (won playoff with birdie on fifth extra hole)  

T4. Leonie Harm, Houston               76-71-65--212* (earned the remaining spot with a par on the seventh playoff hole)

T4. Sarah Burnham, Mich. State      70-72-70--212

T4. Sophia Schubert, Texas             69-73-70--212**

T4. Emilee Hoffman, Texas              72-69-71--212**

T4. Julienne Soo, Oklahoma            75-67-70--212**

T4. Alana Uriel, Arkansas                 78-65-69--212**

T4. Kaylee Benton, Arkansas           72-68-72--212**

*--indicates individual qualifiers

**--all qualified for NCAA with their teams

San Francisco

At TPC Harding Park

Par 72, 6,369 yards

Final results 

1. Stanford                        287-287-282--856

2. UCLA                            280-295-285--860

3. Ole Miss                       290-287-286--863

4. Louisville                      287-294-283--864

5. Kent State                    284-290-291--865

6. Colorado                      284-298-287--869

Did not advance

7. Oklahoma State         291-289-290--870

8. San Diego State          289-294-287--870

9. North Carolina             289-292-290--871

10. South Carolina        296-289-288--873


1. Patty Tavatanakit, UCLA              68-73-67--208

2. Emily Wang, Stanford                  71-69-69--209

T3. Julia Johnson, Ole Miss             71-72-67--210

T3. Marthe Wold, California              71-70-69--210*

T3. Mariel Galdiano, UCLA              66-75-69--210

T6. Hira Naveed, Pepperdine          72-67-72--211*

T6. Brittany Fan, Colorado               66-75-70--211

T8. Emma Broze, Oklahoma State   72-69-72--213*

T33. Kenzie Neisen, Okla. State     70-74-75--219

*--indicates individual qualifiers

Madison, Wis. 

At University Ridge Golf Course

Par 73, 6,313 yards 

Final results 

1. Duke                               283-279-288--850

2. Virginia                           279-291-289--859

3. Southern California        285-288-289--862

T4. Arizona State               288-286-289--863

T4. Ohio State                   293-284-286--863

6. Northwestern                 294-283-287--864

Did not advance

17. North Dakota State    315-298-313--926


1. Nicole Schroeder, Oregon State   68-66-72--206*

T2. Jaclyn Lee, Ohio State               71-68-69--208

T2. Leona Maguire, Duke                 74-65-69--208

T4. Gabby Curtis, Wisconsin            67-74-68--209*

T4. Brooke Riley, Northwestern        71-72-66--209

6. Jennifer Chang, Southern Cal.      73-70-68--211

T7. Erin Harper, Indiana                    70-68-75--213*

T73. Natalie Roth, NDSU                 76-72-82--230

T82. Emma Groom, NDSU              78-77-78--233

*--indicates individual qualifiers



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