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Rutgers opens season with third-place finish at Rutgers Invitational

To open the 2017 fall season, the Rutgers women's golf team hosted the Rutgers Invitational this past weekend. 

Placing third by five strokes, the Scarlet Knights collectively shot 914. Rutgers was narrowly overtaken by Delaware by three strokes. Georgetown took home first place in the team competition with 909.

The Knights put on a solid performance finishing in the top-3 in par three, par four and par five holes. Rutgers had all eight members make the cut and finish inside the top-25 in a field of 65.

The par-72 course, located on Busch campus, features a tough straight away fourth hole that ranges 469 yards and an even tougher 172-yard 17th hole that is surrounded by water.

In the first two rounds of competition, co-captains senior Emily Mills and junior Ashleigh Greenham shot 153. Freshman Harriet Allsebrook and senior Tatum Jackson tallied the same amount of strokes as well, for a four-way tie.

Once the third round began though, Greenham pulled away and made a charge toward the top. She finished tied for second with Delaware’s Josefina Davila-Fernandez with 224 after hitting an exceptional 71 in her final round. Sophomore Alexa Popowitz of Georgetown led the way from the start with a first-round score of 69 and finished with 219.

Greenham spoke to RVision on her thoughts about the tournament and how the results will impact Rutgers for the rest of the year.

“I think today went really well, I think this week in general has shown us that we have a lot of potential,” she said. “Although we didn't really get the result we wanted this week, I think this bodes well for us for the future of our season.”

While Greenham was climbing up the leaderboards, her teammates were feeding off her commanding play. Emily Mills moved up ahead of her teammate Tatum Jackson as well as Allsebrook shooting a 76 on the final day.

Mills shot 230 (76-77-77) over the three rounds, including being plus one in both par three and par four holes. This is her second-best performance in the three-round setting, after winning the event last season.

After shooting a 257 last season on this course, Jackson bounced back in a huge way. She improved by a staggering 16 strokes to shoot 231 (74-79-78).

Freshman Harriet Allsebrook flourished in her debut at the college level shooting 229 (77-76-76) to earn her a tie for eighth. A top-10 finish to start off her college career is certainly a way to make an impact.

Sophomore Anna Cortes and freshman Lori Char also showed great promise competing as individuals. Cortes led the individual field for the first round with a 74 and Char shot a 76 in the last round to climb back to the top. They tied each other for 24th place with 237, 21 over par.

Sophomore Carrie-Ann Lee did not compete in this event last season but surely got the hang of it quickly. She tied for 22nd with 236 (77-81-78) in her first go-around in competition play.

Rutgers head coach Kari Williams could not be happier of the hard work her team has put in during the summer and early fall and looks forward to a compelling rest of the season for women’s golf. 

“I'm pleased with the way everyone competed in our first event of the season,” Williams said, on ScarletKnights.com. “We've made great progress from last spring.”

Looking ahead, the Knights head out to Kansas to compete in the Sunflower Invitational at Kansas State University. The tournament begins on Sept. 17 and concludes on Sept. 19.

"We are looking forward to a great week of practice before heading to Kansas State," Williams said. "The field will be very competitive and a great test for our program."

For updates on the Rutgers women's golf team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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