Damerau Goes Low in Final Round of SEC Championship
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- A barrage of back-nine birdies helped junior Cylia Damerau card her third even- or under-par round of the year and Kentucky women's golf saved its best 18-hole score of the weekend for the final round of the Southeastern Conference Championship on Sunday at the Greystone Golf & Country Club.
Highlighted by Damerau's 2-under-par 70, UK shot a final-day 290 (2-over par) -- its lowest 18-hole score in more than two months -- en route to a 54-hole score of 987 (30-over par) and an 11th-place finish at the annual league tournament.
"I am very proud of our girls today," head coach Golda Johansson Borst said. "We showed some grit and grinded out a good last round. Cylia Damerau stepped up as our leader this week and finished at 2-over, her best finish this year. We will get back to work on Tuesday in preparations for the postseason."
Rain once again made things difficult at the par-72, 6,190-yard Legacy Course in Birmingham, Ala. Storms in the morning delayed the final round until 12:30 p.m. ET and another dose of showers in the afternoon delayed play another 55 minutes.
Ultimately No. 13 Texas A&M beat the elements and a field that featured eight teams ranked in the top 20 and four ranked in the top 10 with 54-hole score of 13-under par. No. 2 South Carolina (1-under par), No. 17 Vanderbilt (3-over par), No. 14 Tennessee (14-over par) and Alabama (20-over par) rounded out the top five.
Damerau, who was Kentucky's top finisher at the SEC Championship a year ago, played her best golf of the season for the Wildcats at the most important juncture of the season. The junior from Switzerland started her day on No. 11 and proceeded to birdie five of her first eight holes, getting as low as 4-under on the day.
Bogeys on holes No. 2 and 3 brought Damerau back to even par, but she closed her day with three more birdies, mixed in with a bogey, to finish at 2-under par, her third even- or under-par round of the year. She finished the weekend with 12 birdies, one off the 2015 tournament high.
Ovearll, Damerau tied her season-best 18-hole score with 70, carded her best 54-hole score of the year with a 218, and finished the tournament in a tie for 12th place, her first top-20 finish of the year and her best of the 2014-15 season.
Sophomore Haley Mills flirted with red numbers for a good chunk of Sunday as well. With a birdie early in her final round on No. 13, Mills stayed at 1-under par for a while with eight straight pars until back-to-back bogeys on holes No. 4 and 5.
The Tyler, Texas native ended Sunday with her second straight 1-over par and finished the tournament at 6-over par, good enough for 27th place.
Freshman Grace Rose continued to show promise with a 1-over-par 73 on the final day, a stroke away from matching her collegiate career low. She ended the tournament at 12-over par and in a tie for 44th place, tied for her best finish at UK. Her total score of 228 was one off her career 54-hole low.
Junior Sarah Harris continued to show that her opening-round 84 was more of an anomaly than a normality with a tournament-closing 74 (2-over par). Coupled with a strong second round, Harris moved up the leaderboard and finished in a tie for 58th.
Freshman Isabelle Johansson looked strong in her SEC Championship debut with a total score of 229, finishing in a tie for 47th. The Sweden native carded a final day 4-over par.
Fans can watch highlights of the 2015 SEC Championship on April 29 at 10 p.m. ET on the SEC Network.
UK will now wait to find out its postseason fate. NCAA Regionals are scheduled for May 7-9.
For the latest on the Kentucky women's golf team, follow @UKWomensGolf on Twitter and on the web at UKathletics.com.
T12. Cylia Damerau: 75+73+70=218 (+2)
T27. Haley Mills: 76+73+73=222 (+6)
T44. Grace Rose: 79+76+73=228 (+12)
T47. Isabelle Johansson: 77+76+76=229 (+13)
T58. Sarah Harris 84+75+74=233 (+17)
11. Kentucky: 307+297+290=894 (+30)
Greystone Golf & Country Club (Legacy Course)