Johansson `Cracks Glass Ceiling' at NCAA Championships
BRADENTON, Fla. -- The 2014-15 Kentucky women's golf season likely concluded on Sunday with the probable end of Isabelle Johansson's run at the NCAA Championships in Bradenton, Fla.
Johansson shot a third-round 81 and posted a 54-hole score of 25-over par, good enough for 96th place. The third round has yet to be completed as it was postponed Sunday night due to darkness, but with only a small group of golfers needing to complete the third round and only a few holes left, Johansson looks to be on the outside looking in to make the cut for the fourth and final round.
The third round will pick back up Monday at 7:30 a.m. to determine the final teams and individuals for the fourth round. The top 15 teams along with the top nine individuals not on an advancing team will advance for one additional round of stroke play on Monday to determine the top eight teams for match-play competition and the 72-hole stroke play individual champion.
Though Johansson likely won't qualify for the final day of competition, her appearance this weekend at Concession Golf Club has been one for the UK record books. The freshman from Sweden is the first Kentucky women's golf to qualify for the NCAA Championships as an individual since Heather Kraus in 1998. She qualified in thrilling fashion two weeks ago by winning a three-hole, three-player playoff at the South Bend Regional to capture the third and final individual spot.
"It's been a disappointing week on the course for Bella but an unbelievable learning experience," head coach Golda Johansson Borst. "I am so proud of her for her fight this week and for the way she represented Kentucky."
Johansson recorded 11 par, six bogeys and a triple bogey on her final day of competition. Sandwiched between her first- and third-round 81s was a 79 on Saturday.
"She was striping it off the tee but struggled to find the greens," Borst said. "You really couldn't miss in the wrong place here and unfortunately Bella found some of those places. The greens were lightning fast and that posed a challenge for her as she only made one birdie all week. That makes for a long tournament as you know you'll make mistakes along the way."
The appearance in the NCAA Championships is one Johansson and the UK women's golf team can build on for the future. Johansson is only a freshman and the NCAA Championships marks just her sixth collegiate career tournament. As a team, the Wildcats will return the core of their team with zero seniors on the roster.
"We can take a lot away from this championship and we are really looking forward to building on this experience," Borst said. "I think Bella cracked that glass ceiling for us and I believe this will show our team that we can qualify for the national championship and continue to work our way toward becoming one of the best teams in the country."
UK is coming off one of the best seasons in school history in terms of stroke average. As a team, the Wildcats averaged 300.7 strokes per round, the second-best mark in program history, behind only the 2013-14 team's 296.13 team average.
Kentucky notched top-10 finishes in five of its 10 tournaments, including a seventh-place finish at the South Bend Regionals, the best finish at an NCAA regional in the Borst era. UK has made an NCAA regional in five straight seasons under Borst, a school record.
The Concession Golf Club has been every bit the final test it was designed to be for the finale of the 2014-15 women's golf season. Not a single player is below par heading into Monday's conclusion, and the leading team, Southern California, is at 28-over par. Alabama's Emma Talley is the individual leader at even par.
"This course really exposes a player's weaknesses, and as you can see from the scores, it was a test for even the best players in the country," Borst said.
This weekend's tournament is being hosted at the Concession Golf Club. Authored by Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin, the course is designed to be the ultimate test for the nation's top collegiate golfers. Set among the breathtaking natural beauty of native stands of oak, magnolia and pine, the Concession golf course offers unique challenges on each of its 18 holes.
T96. Isabelle Johansson: 81+79+81=241 (+25)
2015 NCAA Championships
Concession Golf Club
Par 72, 6,468 yards