Cats Capture Sunflower Invitational Title

LAWRENCE, Kan. - With three players finishing in the top five, the Kansas State women's golf team overcame a six-shot deficit to win its first tournament in 10 years at the Marilynn Smith/Sunflower Invitational held at Alvamar Golf Club on Tuesday.

The Wildcats trailed in-state rival KU by six shots after play on Monday, but they carded a 10-over par 298 during the final round to finish the event at 30-over par 894.

Freshmen Chandler Gallagher and Connie Jaffrey led the way for the Wildcats in their collegiate debuts. After a strong first two rounds, Gallagher finished in third place by carding a 4-over par 220. Jaffrey improved in the third round to finish in fourth place with a 5-over par 221.

Also joining Gallagher and Jaffrey in her first career top-five finish was sophomore Madison Talley who carded a 6-over par 222 to tie for fifth. Olivia Eliasson carded a 15-over par 231 for a 25th place finish.  

"The team played great today," K-State assistant coach Stewart Burke said. "The conditions were tough and we got off to a great start to put pressure on the leaders right away."

Playing without the guidance of head coach Kristi Knight due to the passing of her mother last week, the Wildcats used the added inspiration to win their first tournament since March 1-2, 2004, in the Texas A&M Mo' Morial Invitational.
 
"It is great to win this event, and to come from behind shows the true character of this group. This win was for Coach Knight," Burke said.

Kansas' Pornvipa Sakdee won the individual competition by shooting an even-par 216. Fernanda Lira of Central Arkansas finished in second place, one stroke ahead of Gallagher. 

K-State will be back in action next week as it heads to Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational at the UNM Golf Course on Sept. 15-16.

Marilynn Smith/Sunflower Invitational
Lawrence, Kan.
Par 72/6,158-yard
Alvamar Golf Club

Team Scores: 1. Kansas State, 300-296-298--894 (+30); 2. Kansas, 296-294-310--900 (+36); 3. Central Arkansas, 303-306-298--907 (+46); 4. Texas Tech, 304-303-301--908 (+44); 5. Oral Roberts, 303-304-304--911 (+47); 6. Arkansas-Little Rock, 306-306-304--916 (+52); 7. Arkansas State, 313-304-308--925 (+61); 8. Florida Golf Coast, 316-312-309--937 (+73); 9. Kansas (B), 322-313-314--949 (+85); 10. UMKC, 326-317-318--961 (+97); 11. Redlands CC 337-323-326--986 (+122).

Top Individuals: 1. Pornvipa Sakdee, Kansas, 70-73-73--216 (E); 2. Fernanda Lira, Central Arkansas 77-73-69--219 (+3); 3. Chandler Gallagher, Kansas State, 73-69-78--220 (+4); 4. Connie Jaffrey, Kansas State, 71-76-74--221 (+5); T5. Madison Talley, Kansas State, 75-75-72--222 (+6); T5. Kennedy Ishee, Oral Roberts, 77-75-70--222 (+6); T5. Michelle Woods, Kansas (B), 75-71-76--222 (+6); T5. Yupaporn Kawinpakorn, Kansas, 74-69-79--222 (+6).
 
Other K-State Individuals: T17. Katherine Gravel-Coursol*, 76-77-74--227 (+11); 25. Olivia Eliasson, 81-76-74--231 (+15); T32. Carly Ragains, 82-76-79--237 (+21).