(Photo by BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)
PROVO, Utah — After claiming a second-straight West Coast Conference championship and advancing to postseason play, the 2016-17 BYU women’s golf season has come to a close.
"We had a strong and consistent year," BYU head coach Carrie Roberts said. "We were ranked in the top 25 consistently throughout the season, and we beat and played good teams. Our returners got better and performed when we needed them to. We were disappointed with our finish at regionals, but as we look back at everything we accomplished, a lot of the good gets overshadowed."
The Cougars finished the 2016-17 campaign ranked No. 32 in the nation by Golfstat.com, with senior Alexandra White ranked No. 23, individually.
BYU women’s golf recorded two first-place regular season wins and six runner-up finishes during the year. The Cougars placed first at the Juli Inkster Spartan Invitational in September and the Gonzaga Matchplay event in October.
Roberts earned WCC Coach of the Year honors for the second-straight year after guiding the Cougars to a remarkable season. The Cougars never posted a team finish outside the top-five in any regular-season tournament.
"Winning Coach of the Year is dependent on the players," Roberts said. "We win together and fight together, and we are only as good as all of us put together."
After BYU received an automatic postseason bid by placing first at the WCC Championships, the Cougars posted a 12th-place team finish at the 2017 NCAA Lubbock Regional.
White tied for ninth place in regional play to advance and represent the Cougars at the 2017 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championships held at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois, where she logged a 14th-place finish.
With her top-20 outing at the NCAA Championships, White placed in the top 20 in 10 of 11 tournaments during the 2016-17 season. The senior also had three top-5 finishes on the year, and received medalist honors at the WCC Championships held at Riverside Country Club. She finished the 2016-17 season with a 72.97 stroke average.
"To see Alex (White) win conference and place so well at regionals and nationals speaks volumes of her work ethic," Roberts said. "It was a great way to cap off her senior year."
White also collected numerous honors during the 2016-17 campaign—she was named the April WCC Golfer of the Month, selected to the All-WCC First Team and was dubbed an WGCA Honorable Mention All-American.
Junior Kendra Dalton led the Cougars during the 2016-17 season, finishing the year with a school-best 72.89 stroke average since 1990. Dalton was named the 2016-17 WCC Player of the Year and also received All-WCC First Team honors.
The junior tallied six top-10 finishes in the 2016-17 season and posted a win at the Juli Inkster Spartan Invitational to go along with three runner-up showings. She carded a season-low 68 at the BYU at Entrada Classic and ended the season ranked No. 124, according to Golfstat.com.
Rose Huang posted nine top-20 finishes during the year to place in the top 20 in every regular season event. Huang ended the season with a stroke average of 73.26 and also garnered All-WCC First Team honors. The sophomore placed second as an individual at both the Rainbow Wahine Invitational and the WCC Championships.
Lauren Atkinson and Brooklyn Hocker also played pivotal roles as members of the BYU women’s golf team. Atkinson’s best finish came at The Gold Rush where she tied for fourth place. She also was named the February WCC Golfer of the Month.
Hocker recorded six top-20 finishes on the year, with her best individual performance coming at the WCC Championships where she placed eighth. The senior shot a personal season-best 70 in the second round of the BYU at Entrada Classic in March.
At the beginning of the 2016-17 season, redshirt-freshman Anna Kennedy placed first at the Hobble Creek Fall Classic to claim the first victory of her collegiate career.
The Cougars will lose three seniors: Lauren Atkinson, Brooklyn Hocker and Alexandra White. Annie Yang will return to lineup next season as she redshirted during the 2016-17 campaign. BYU will also add three freshmen to its 2017-18 roster.
"It is sad for me and sad for the team to lose such tough competitors," Roberts said. "We will have to reload and get ready."