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The Lions finished in 15th place out of 15 teams at the 3M Augusta Invitational on Sunday.

Women’s golf finished last out of 15 teams participating in the 3M Augusta Invitational over the weekend. The Lions played Friday through Sunday against a competitive lineup of southern teams at Forest Hills Golf Course in Augusta, Georgia.

Columbia closed out the weekend with a score of 71-over-par (315-310-310-935), while tournament leader Georgia shot even, totaling a score of 864.

Despite the team’s finish, senior Nancy Xu and junior captain Amy Ding posted impressive individual performances, finishing in 22nd and 36th place out of 86, respectively. Both players notched eight birdies over the course of the weekend.

Xu shot a 7 over-par and maintained consistency throughout all three days of play. She shot 73 in the first round followed by 75s over the next two days. Xu totaled a 223, 15 behind the tournament leader, Georgia’s Jillian Hollis, who scored 8 under-par at 208.

“There were a handful of very talented and highly ranked players in [Nancy’s] field,” head coach Amy Weeks said. “For Nancy to finish 22nd in that field—again, golf is all about relative to competition—was very good.”

Ding’s efforts similarly served the Lions throughout the weekend. Ding recovered from a rocky start on Friday, when she shot an 80, by notching four birdies for an under-2 finish on Saturday. She then shot a 74 on Sunday for a plus-11 finish with a score of 227.

Sophomore Emily Chu shot a plus-17 this weekend, notching six birdies total. First-year Qingyi Symba Xu shot a plus-19, while first-years Katie Lee and Kim Chiang shot plus-24 and plus-26, respectively.

Although returning players have led the team this season, Columbia’s roster is currently split between first-years and upperclassmen. Weeks indicated her focus on building up the team’s first-years.

“The biggest thing for me this year has been to allow the freshman to have as much experience playing tournaments as possible,” Weeks said. “When you have three freshmen, the thought is that you’re going to depend on those players and their development long-term.”

Columbia will compete next at Fox Hollow Golf Course in Branchburg, New Jersey on Saturday, March 31 and Sunday, April 1 against Ivy League rivals Princeton and Penn, as well as nonconference competitor Seton Hall. The Match Madness at Fox Hollow tournament was recently added to the team’s schedule due to rain cancellations of earlier competitions.

alex.andrejev@columbiaspectator.com | @CUSpecSports

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