Three Tar Heels In Top 20 At ACC Women’s Golf Championship

Kayla Smith shot a 1-under-par 71 to lead the University of North Carolina in round three of the 2022 ACC Women’s Golf Championship Friday at the Reserve Golf Club in Pawleys Island, SC

Smith’s 71 equaled the second-best round of the day.

The Tar Heels, who were Seeded ninth Entering the tournament, finished three rounds of stroke play in sixth place. Carolina shot 294-298-300 for a 28-over 892 total.

Wake Forest earned the No. 1 seed in Saturday’s match play semifinals with an even-par 864 54-hole total. Florida State Secured the No. 2 seed (5 over), Duke is No. 3 (9 over) and Virginia is the fourth seed (16 over).

The Cavaliers grabbed the final spot in the semifinals by 10 strokes over Clemson and 12 over Carolina.

Duke’s Phoebe Brinker was the individual medalist after shooting 70-65-71 for a 10-under 206. Brinker was six strokes clear of her teammate Erica Shepherd, who shot 69, the best round of the day and the only round better than Smith’s.

Three Tar Heels earned top-20 finishes in the individual standings. Krista Junkkari (69-70-80) tied for 13th at 3 over and Smith (76-75-71) and Natalia Aseguinolaza (72-77-73) tied for 19th place at 6-over 222.

This was the first time three Tar Heels finished in the top 20 since 2015.

Junkkari’s 13th-place effort was her best since the junior from Finland was runner-up at the Cougar Classic in September.

The 19th-place finish was Aseguinolaza’s best as a Tar Heel. The sophomore from Spain led the UNC in the third round with four birdies.

Smith, a junior from Burlington, NC, made two birdies on the front nine and had only one bogey in the round. Smith’s 19th-place finish was her sixth top-20 in eight events this season.

The sixth-place finish was Carolina’s best since finishing fourth in consecutive ACC Tournaments in 2016 and 2017.

“I’m proud of the progress we’ve made but know we have a ways to go to contend for ACC Championships,” says first-year head Coach Aimee Neff. “We kept fighting today and climbed up the leader board in a few spots, which was good to see. We were just two shots out of fourth with about nine holes to play, but the conditions were pretty windy on the second nine.

“Kayla (Smith) had a really good round and KJ (Junkkari) was in position to contend after Yesterday but had a few rough holes on the front side. We continue to move in the right direction as a program. Just haven’t put it all together for a full tournament yet. We get a couple of weeks to practice in preparation for the NCAA selection show and we’re eager to build off our progress for the regionals. “

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