It took three rounds of golf for Augusta State’s Natalie Wille to find out who her true enemy was: herself.
Entering the final round of the Insperity Lady Jaguar Intercollegiate at Forest Hills Golf Club on Sunday, Wille led the field at 2-under-par, trailed closely by Vanderbilt’s Jenny Hahn.
Wille, a senior from Balsta, Sweden, held on to at least a share of the lead through 16 holes before falling apart on the last two, plagued by poor execution in the short game.
“The second half of the round I was kind of getting frustrated with my putts,” Wille said. “That kind of carried on to the last two holes. It was kind of hard to focus, actually.”
Tied for first with Notre Dame’s Ashley Armstrong, the individual medalist, Wille registered double-bogeys on the final two holes.
Her troubles started when two short putts lipped out on the second-to-last hole. She then found the bunker on the final hole, leaving her at 4-over on the day and dropping her to a third-place tie with Hahn.
Wille, who finished at 2-over 218, earned her fourth top-five finish of the spring season.
Purdue took first place in the team competition after battling with Vanderbilt for most of the final round.
The Boilermakers finished one shot ahead of the Commodores, posting 12-over 876 in the 54-hole tournament. Notre Dame and Texas took third and fourth, respectively, as Augusta State dropped one spot to fifth place at 906.
“Give our girls credit,” Purdue head coach Devon Brouse said. “They did what they needed to do and made a few birdies on the back nine. It was a good team win.”
Augusta State’s Casey Kennedy, who notched her third collegiate win at the Purdue Mount Vintage Invitational just a week earlier, was the only other Lady Jaguar in the top 25. She tied for 25th at 227.
Augusta State head coach Kory Thompson said she was satisfied with the results of the tournament despite not coming away with the win.
“I think we had some positives come from it” she said. “Obviously Natalie had a good finish and Christine (Duschek-Hansen) had a good day (Saturday). Overall I think it was a good weekend. We’ve beat some good teams and we can move forward from here.”
The Lady Jaguars will next tee up in Charleston, S.C., when they compete in the Briar’s Creek Invitational on March 25.