Senior Amanda Costner maintained her lead throughout the three-day, 54-hole Big 12 Championship to become the first Jayhawk in history to win the individual title Wednesday at the Ridgewood Country Club. Costner shot a five-over-par 77 in the final round for a three-round total of 221 (71-73-77--221). As a team, Kansas finished in ninth with a final score of 945 (312-314-319--945).
Costner finished four shots ahead of second place Elli Brown of Nebraska, who finished with a final score of 225. The last time a Jayhawk finished in the top-10 individually at the Big 12 Championship was in 2004 when Costner finished seventh.
"Amanda did a fabulous job of keeping her head leveled," head coach Erin O'Neil said. "Handling the pressure is always hard going into the final round with everyone gunning for you. She kept her composure, and finished strong with a birdie - that says a lot."
"I cannot tell you how happy I am to see that my hard work has paid off," Costner said. "Some days you do not necessarily want to go out there, but when you do, and I get this win, it makes it all worth it."
Junior Annie Giangrosso tied for 32nd place after shooting an 81 in the final round to bring her total to 239 (81-77-81--239). Freshman Emily Powers carded 80 in the final round for a three-round total of 241 (81-80-80--241) to tie for 42nd place.
Freshman Camilla Svensson finished with 245 (79-84-82--245) after three rounds, while freshman Meghan Gockel completed the tournament with a final score of 249 (81-87-81--249).
"Overall, the team did pretty well," O'Neil said. "We had ourselves in good position going into today. We struggled through the middle part of the round. Putting got us, I think. We have a young group of girls, and I am excited about the future. They are all competitive and hard-working. I think we will just do better and better."
Texas A&M pulled out the win in the team competition with a three-round total of 914.
Kansas Women's Golf
Big 12 Championship Quotes
April 16-18, 2007
Head Coach Erin O'Neil
On Kansas' performance:
"Overall, the team did pretty well. We had ourselves in good position going into today. We struggled through the middle part of the round. Putting got us, I think. Ninth is not necesarrily where we want to be. We have a young group of girls, and I am excited about the future. They are all competitive and hard-working. I think we will just do better and better."
On Amanda Costner's individual win:
"Amanda did a fabulous job of keeping her head leveled. Handling the pressure is always hard going into the final round with everyone gunning for you. She kept her composure, and finished strong with a birdie - that says a lot."
On Costner's chance of winning:
"Throughout her career, she has been building up to this. She has definitely been in some big competitions, and is steadily getting better and better. I think it was her time."
On what she told Costner before the final round:
"I told her to focus on her routine, to trust the experience she has had, believe in herself and be confident. This is what she has been working for. Not to be scared of it. Just be confident, and go out there and do it."
Senior Amanda Costner
On the historical aspect of winning the individual Big 12 Championship:
"I am in shock right now. I think it is awesome. It will be remembered forever, hopefully. At least by me it will be remembered forever. I think it puts the bar that much higher. I want the girls that come behind me, our freshmen and underclassmen, to win it over and over again. I want our team to win it (Big 12 Championship) next year. I think it will be a booster for the whole women's golf program. I just put that bar one step higher."
On her win:
"I cannot tell you how happy I am to see that my hard work has paid off. Some days you do not necessarily want to go out there, but when you do, and I get this win, it makes it all worth it."
On her chances of winning:
"The last month or so, I have been striking the ball well. My putting has come and gone. Last weekend, when we were at Oklahoma, again, I was striking it well. My putting just did not come together for me. The week before, I really did think I had a good chance of winning it. I thought it depended on how well I putted."
On her putting improvement at the Big 12 Championship:
"I was confident coming to it. I felt good, and I had a good attitude. I felt like I could do it. I decided I was going to go for the win."
On her confidence rising:
"The first round, I finished with seven birdies. I really finished well. That really boosted my confidence going into the second round."
On regaining confidence after losing five strokes to par in a five-hole stretch in the third round:
"After hole 13 I had saved a par, it was a tough chip and a tough up-and-down, and I saved it. I actually went into the restroom and recollected myself. I just told myself, `You know you can do this. Stay calm, and take it one hole at a time. Let's go out and win this thing.'"
On approaching the third round with a seven shot lead:
"It was nice to know that I had that cushion, but at the same time, I did not want to let it make me too relaxed. I just wanted to continue to play the way I had in the first and second rounds. We had such a good field - I knew I had to play my hardest