Women’s NCAA Roundup

DU women place 7th and see season end at NCAA regionals; locals Lauren Lehigh and Dawn Shockley help their teams advance to nationals; Coloradan Ashley Kozlowski finishes 4th at regionals; CU lands top-100 amateur

By Gary Baines – 5/10/2023

The University of Denver women’s golf team fell short of advancing to the NCAA Division I national championships, but a few people with strong Colorado ties will be headed for the finals in Scottsdale, Ariz., May 19-24.

Lauren Lehigh of Loveland, a two-time state high school champion who went to the quarterfinals of the 2022 U.S. Women’s Amateur, helped her New Mexico team punch its ticket to nationals by landing the fifth and final berth at the NCAA regional in San Antonio on Wednesday. It will be the Lobos’ first trip to nationals since 2010.

New Mexico ended up at 25 and par for three rounds, four ahead of sixth-place finisher Auburn. DU ended up in seventh place in the 12-school field, at 33 over par. 

Lehigh tied for 16th place overall after rounds of 77-72-72 left her 5 over par. Anna Zanusso, who placed in the top 10 in the NCAA nationals in 2021, led DU with an 11th-place individual showing on Wednesday, going 78-68-73 to end up at 3 over.

— Coach Dawn Shockley, a Colorado native and product of Estes Park who played her college golf at DU, led her Oregon State team to a spot in nationals as the Beavers finished runner-up Wednesday in the regional in Westfield, Ind.

It’s the first time OSU has advanced a team to nationals since 1998 when the Beavers finished 16th. Shockley, an NCAA regional individual champion in 2009 as a DU player, is in her seventh season as Oregon State’s head coach.

The Beavers finished at 17 under par for three days, just two strokes behind regional champion Mississippi State. 

Kelsey Webster of Boulder, the 2022 CGA Women’s Stroke Play champion, is on the Oregon State roster, but wasn’t among the five players who competed in the regional tournament. With OSU having just six players on its roster, even if Webster doesn’t end up being in Oregon State’s top five for nationals, she’s expected to go to Scottsdale as teams are allowed to bring six players in case a substitute might need to be inserted into the lineup.

Also in Westfield, Colorado State’s Sofia Torres, competing only as an individual, finished 21st overall in her season finale, with scores of 74-70-70 leaving her at 2 under par for three days.

Meanwhile, though Ashley Kozlowski of Littleton narrowly missed leading her Purdue team to a regional berth in Raleigh, N.C. — the Boilermakers finished sixth, three strokes behind the fifth-place team, Florida State — she tied for fourth individually out of the 60 players who competed in all three rounds. 

Kozlowski went 71-72-70 for a 3-under-par 213 total, which left her nine strokes behind individual champion Dorota Zalewska of Chattanooga, who will advance to nationals as an individual. Kozlowski, winner of the Colorado Junior PGA Championship in 2020, made 13 birdies, six bogeys and two double bogeys over the three rounds.

For scores from the women’s NCAA Division I regionals, CLICK HERE.

— NCAA Division II Regionals: The women’s NCAA Division II regional in Dallas concluded on Tuesday — a day earlier than originally scheduled — due to weather. Both of the Colorado-based teams saw their season end as Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference champion Colorado State University-Pueblo finished in eighth place with a 59-over-par total and Colorado Christian in ninth (+65).

Though conference individual champion Lily Nelson of Commerce City didn’t compete this week, her Henderson State (Ark.) team won the women’s NCAA Division II regionals in Larchwood, Iowa, and will advance to the DII nationals, set for May 16-20 in Eureka, Mo.

For scores from the women’s DII regionals, CLICK HERE.

— CU Brings In One of the Top 100 Female Amateurs in the World: The University of Colorado women’s team didn’t earn an NCAA regional berth this year, but did land a big-time incoming player.

Sabrina Iqbal, who sits No. 91 in the women’s World Amateur Golf Rankings and who competed in the 2023 Augusta National Women’s Amateur, was added to the CU roster as a graduate transfer for next season — her final one in the college ranks. The golfer from San Jose, Calif., graduated from Texas Christian University in 2022. She owned a career stroke average of 72.9 at TCU, including 71.8 as a season in 2021-22. Iqbal has claimed two individual titles as a college player. She also won the 2016 California Women’s Amateur Championship

Iqbal didn’t compete intercollegiately in the 2022-23 season.