STILLWATER, Okla. – Ball State women's golfer Jenna Hague closed out the first postseason experience of her college career Saturday with a round of 78 at the NCAA Central Regional.
The junior from Burlington, Ontario, got her day off to a rough start by playing the first four holes in 6 over par, including a quadruple bogey on her first hole of the day at No. 10. But she recovered to play even-par the rest of the way to post a score just one shot higher than the pair of 77s she recorded on the opening two days of the regional.
"For me, it was just about keeping it in perspective and enjoying being here, staying patient and believing in my game, that I would give myself birdie opportunities coming in," Hague said. "I made a few mistakes and the course kind of ate me up, but I really enjoyed the last 14 holes and tried to stay positive."
Hague ended the regional with a 54-hole total of 232 (+16) in a demanding test at Oklahoma State's Karsten Creek Golf Club. She finished in a tie for 60th place in the field of 126 golfers.
Kent State’s Wad Phaewchimplee led wire to wire to claim individual medalist honors at 7 under par. She and UNLV’s Dana Finkelstein, who tied for second at 2 under, will advance to the NCAA Nationals later this month, joining the top eight teams on the final leaderboard at Karsten Creek: UCLA (+11), Alabama (+28), Mississippi State (+29), California (+30), Ohio State (+35), Kansas (+35), Arizona (+37) and Florida (+38).
Hague made four birdies Saturday, matching her combined total from the previous two rounds. Finishing on the front nine, she carded a pair of late birdies by rolling in a downhill 25-footer at the fifth hole and sticking her approach to 18 inches for a tap in at the sixth. She then polished off her round with three straight pars.
Hague was one of 18 players from across the country selected to compete as individuals in NCAA Regionals based on her accomplishments throughout the season. She won two tournaments on the year to bring her career total to six wins, and she posted top-10s in nine of her 11 starts. Her final stroke average of 74.34 broke Brittany Kelly's school record of 75.06 from the 2011 season.
Kelly played in a regional in that 2011 campaign and was the only Ball State women's golfer ever to do so until Hague was selected for this year's field.
"It was a really cool atmosphere, knowing you are playing against the best players in the country," Hague said of her experience this week. "I just enjoyed every minute of it, and I think I learned a lot about myself and myself as a golfer. I'm hoping to take it as a learning experience to make me better for the future."
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