Under the direction of new head coach Carrie Roberts, the BYU women’s golf team improved on a last-place finish at the Mountain West Conference in 2010 by capturing seven top-5 finishes during the 2010-11 campaign.
After finishing third at the MWC Championships, BYU received an at-large bid to advance to NCAA Regional competition for the first time since 2008. Sophomore Kelsey Vines led the Cougars to a 12th-place finish at the West Regional, just four spots and 10 strokes away from advancing to the NCAA Championships. Vines carded a 10-over 226 to tie for 25th place overall.
The Cougars started the season by doing something that hasn’t been accomplished since 2008 – winning a team title. Senior Jade Bollinger led BYU in its first tournament of the season, the Circling Raven Collegiate Invitational, with a 4-over 220 and a fourth-place finish. Sophomore Amanda Keith and freshman Annika Afoa joined Bollinger in the top-20, finishing tied for 12th and 18th respectively.
After a freshman season in which her 76.83 stroke average was second best among Cougar golfers, Kelsey Vines had a breakout year in 2010-11 as she placed in the top-25 in eight of her nine tournament appearances.
After claiming second place at the MWC Championships, Vines was one of eight golfers named to the All-MWC team.
Vines recorded her first-career individual title at the UNLV Spring Invitational after carding an eagle on the first playoff hole. Her 10-under 206 helped the Cougars to a second-place finish overall.
Although only a junior, Maggie Yuan was one of the most experienced Cougar golfers coming into 2010-11. After claiming her first-career individual title as a sophomore, Yuan recorded six top-25 finishes during her junior campaign, with her best finishes coming at the Turtle Bay College Invitational in November and the MWC Championships, where she tied for fifth.
Yuan’s 75.50 stroke average during the 2010-11 season was good for second best on the team and eighth best in the MWC.
A trio of seniors assumed leadership roles for the Cougars. Bollinger’s fourth-place finish at the Circling Raven Collegiate Invitational was her best of the 2010-11 season. Along with capturing her fourth-consecutive MWC scholar athlete award Bollinger’s 75.97 was tenth best in the MWC. Over her four-year career, Bollinger recorded 14 top-20 finishes and a 77.62 stroke average.
Competing in her second season as a Cougar, senior Emily Copier appeared in eight tournaments, posting a top finish at the Gold Rush where she tied for 18th. After transferring from Weber State, Copier averaged 80.73 strokes per round in 14 tournaments with two top-20 finishes at BYU.
Sara Romero competed in two tournaments during her last season at BYU, her top finish coming at the Turtle Bay Collegiate Invitational where she finished 39th. At BYU Romero posted an 82.19 stroke average in 18 events.
The Cougars’ 12-year stay in the MWC has produced much success and the move to the West Coast Conference in 2011-12 holds a lot of promise for a young and talented BYU team.