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Rutgers takes 4th place at Sunflower Invitational

Competing at the Marilynn Smith Sunflower Invitational this past weekend, the Rutgers women’s golf team finished in fourth place, with 904 total strokes. The host, Kansas State, smoked the competition by 17 strokes, to secure the victory. This was the first time that the Scarlet Knights played in this tournament and the first time competing at the Colbert Hills Golf Course in Manhattan, Kansas.

At the end of the first day, Rutgers sat in the sixth position tied with Little Rock. After shooting a 309, the Knights looked to lock down their putts and improve for the second round.

Rutgers, who didn't get started right away for the second round due to weather, responded in a huge way.

On the second day of competition,  junior Ashleigh Greenham shot a 66 to break fellow co-captain, senior Emily Mills's, school record of 67 shots in one round of competitive play. Mills set the record at the end of last season in the Big Ten Championship. 

Rutgers, as a team, shot 287 in the second round. It tied the school record for a single round score. With the help of Greenham’s record performance, other notable Knights followed suit. Senior Tatum Jackson shot a 71 and Mills shot a 74. Greenham shared her thoughts on the round and how she was able to break the school record through the 18 holes.

"It was a really fun day of golf," Greenham told ScarletKnights.com. "As a team, we came out with a goal of playing more aggressively and I stuck to that game plan. I was able to string together a run of birdies after my putter got hot. It's been quite a while since I've had a round where my game came together like this, and I'm really happy with how my hard work has paid off."

In the final round, Rutgers was not able to keep up with the competition and fell to fourth place after shooting a 308. They were overtaken by Kansas and Tulsa, who both shot 299 in the final round.

Sophomore Carrie-Ann Lee started off strong with a score of 78 and 76 in the first two days, but could not keep the momentum going. She shot an 82 in the final round to finish tied for 37th place.

Mills and Jackson played their first and last time at the 6,235-yard course. Mills finished in 15th place shooting a 226 (76-74-76) and Jackson lost her swing to finish tied for 20th with a 229 (77-71-81).

Freshman Harriet Allsebrook improved as the rounds went on and landed in a tie for 30th with a 233 (79-78-76). The collegiate golf rookie has finished both opening tournaments, the Rutgers Invitational and the Sunflower Invitational, without being more than 5-over-par in a single round.

Greenham has had back-to-back top-5 performances to start the season. She finished the Sunflower Invitational in fourth place, shooting 219 (78-66-75). After tying for second place last weekend and setting a new Rutgers women's golf record score this week, Greenham is off to a very strong start.

The next tournament for Rutgers is this weekend at the Nittany Lion Invitational at Penn State on Sept. 23 and Sept. 24. The Knights finished tied for third last season and Greenham finished as the runner-up in the individual competition.

Head coach Kari Williams spoke to ScarletKnights.com about the last round and what is to come for her team.

“It was fun to be in contention and in a fight up at the top of the leaderboard," she said. "Unfortunately, this wasn't the result we were hoping for. Our rounds of 75 and 76 were pretty good in these strong winds, but we will head home and get ourselves prepared for a competitive weekend at Penn State.”

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

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