NAPA, Calif. – No. 11 Washington is rounding into form at the right time, dominating an elite field at the Silverado Invitational to earn the tournament victory. Junior SooBin Kim led the Dawgs all week, earning individual medalist honors at 9-under 207 for the tournament played at the Silverado Resort and Spa in California wine country.
“It was a great day for us,” said head coach Mary Lou Mulflur. “They all played really well today and nobody went backwards. It started right from the beginning on the first hole. Charlotte hit a great drive, but then left her second a little short. When I saw her lining up for the chip shot, I thought, this is going in and sure enough it did. We never looked back after that.”
Washington finished Tuesday’s final round at 8-under 280, easily the best of the tournament. The Dawgs three-round total of 3-under 861 was good for a 13-shot victory over No. 1 USC who finished as the runner-up.
The Trojans had entered the week with the nation’s No. 1 ranking and winner of seven tournament wins this season. No. 20 Northwestern finished third at 12-over, while Oregon State and Oregon rounded out the top five.
“USC is such a great team,” said Mulflur. “This really gives us confidence going into the big tournaments coming up. We know we can play with anyone because we just did.”
Kim earned her second collegiate win and first this season after a final round of 4-under 68. She finished the week at 9-under 207, one shot better than runner-up Lindsey Weaver of Arizona. Kim birdied three of the last four holes, including 18 to snatch the victory away from Weaver who had entered Tuesday with the lead.
“The course really set up well to my eye,” said Kim. “I think I was smart about my game this week, being aggressive, but also laying back and taking my medicine when I needed. I have been working really hard so it was nice to play well. This gives me a lot of confidence going into the next few tournaments.”
Kim played the par 5’s at 5-under for the tournament, something Mulflur sees as a key to her game.
“Statistically, SooBin is one of the best in the country on the par 5’s. She birdied both 16 and 18 (both par 5’s) to pull it out. I am not sure if she knew she needed those holes, but she played those holes positionally very well and even made a longish putt on the 16th.”
As a team, the Dawgs had a sensational final round with four players finishing under par. Charlotte Thomas added a 1-under 71 to also earn a top-10 result, finishing the tournament tied for ninth. Thomas was even-par for the tournament with three birdies and two bogeys on Tuesday.
The low round of the day for the Dawgs aside from Kim, came from Ying Luo who shot a 2-under 70 to climb into a tie for 13th. She made five birdies on the day to finish the tournament at 3-over 219.
The final scoring round for Washington came from Kelli Bowers at 1-under 71. Bowers who struggled on Monday rebounded with a big round for her team. She finished tied for 46th for the tournament at 15-over 231.
Eimi Koga’s score was not used, but still the freshman climbed into the top-20 with a round of 2-over 74. She finished at 6-over 222 for the tournament in a tie for 19th.
The Dawgs played the Silverado Invitational without Jennifer Yang who has been the team’s top finisher in each of the last four tournaments. Mulflur indicated that Yang could have played if needed and is expected back in the lineup for the upcoming Pac-12 Championships.
The Silverado Invitational completes the regular season for Washington with the Pac-12 Championships up next on April 25-27. The Dawgs will head to Corvallis, Ore., to compete in likely the most competitive conference tournament in women’s college golf.