SFU duo earn first-ever tickets to NCAA championships

Kylie Jack and Jaya Rampuri made Simon Fraser University history Wednesday, becoming the first individuals from the program to qualify for this week’s NCAA Div. 2 women's golf championships.

The pair secured two of the four individual berths from the West Regional following three strong rounds of play at the Amarillo Country Club in the Texas town.

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Jack shot a four-over-par 75 on the final day to finish with a three-round total of 221 (73, 73, 75). The senior from Kelowna made a tournament-high 41 pars over 54 holes and earned a share of eighth place on the leaderboard. Coquitlam’s Rampuri tallied her lowest score of the championships in the third round with a two-over-par 73. The junior shot 222 (74, 75, 73) over the three rounds, putting her in a tie for 11th overall.

Sophomore Estee Leung also had her best showing during the final 18 holes. The Richmond native carded a 77 and 75 in the first two rounds and made another two-stroke improvement in round three to record a score of 73. She finished her first west regional in a tie for 15th with a 54-hole total of 225.

Surrey’s Belinda Lin fired an 80 in her last round of collegiate golf for SFU. The senior had a 242 total over the tournament (85, 77, 80). Laura Jones of Moncton battled through the challenging course conditions to shoot a 257 (85, 89, 83).

The Clan improved upon a ninth-place team finish in 2017 to come sixth, but came up two spots shy of earning a berth to the national championships. The team had impressive rounds of 309, 300, 301 (910) but was ultimately outplayed by the nationally-ranked opponents in the field. Simon Fraser was just one of three schools that placed three golfers in the top 15 of the leaderboard.

“I am very proud of the effort the team put together throughout the west regional,” remarked SFU golf coach Matthew Steinbach. “Although we came up just short of qualifying for nationals as a team, I'm thrilled that Kylie and Jaya will get an opportunity to compete as individuals against the best golfers in (Div. 2). We have had many program firsts over the past season and this sixth-place finish at regionals is our best yet.”

The first round of the championships in Palm Beach, Fla., gets underway on Tuesday, May 14.

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