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The Dartmouth
May 27, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Women’s golf finishes 11th at NCAA regionals

The Big Green women’s golf team wrapped up a record-breaking season with an 11th-place finish at NCAA regionals in Las Vegas.

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After capturing the Ivy League title on April 21, women’s golf capped off their historic run at the NCAA golf regionals. The Big Green finished 11th out of 12 teams — outperforming their 12-seed ranking — at the Las Vegas tournament from May 6 to 8.

As a team, Dartmouth shot a 62-over-926 to finish ahead of the Big East Champion Xavier University Musketeers. 

The team was led by Sophie Thai ’26, who tied for 32nd out of 63 individuals overall in the regional. Thai’s 9-over-225 was closely followed by Katherine Sung ’24, who netted a 43rd overall finish at 13 over par after three days of competition. 

Head Coach Alex Kirk and Thai noted that playing on the stage of NCAA regionals was a challenge, especially since the course for major tournaments is significantly longer than for Ivy League play.

“In some ways, we were very competitive,” Kirk said. “But you realize the golf course was 300 yards longer [than we’re used to].”

Thai, who will return to the team next season, said the tournament was a valuable opportunity for the team to compete on the national stage. She noted that the regionals are a high-profile, intense environment.

“It was no secret that regionals were going to be more competitive than what we have been used to,” she said. “Going into this regionals experience, we were just focusing on enjoying the moment and thinking about how grateful and lucky we were to be there.”

Kirk added that the tournament was important for the Dartmouth women’s golf team, as it capped off a truly historic season. This year, women’s golf won the Ivy title and competed in regionals for the first time in program history, according to Kirk. 

“I think it was an amazing experience to go out and represent the Ivy League,” Kirk said. “I’m proud of my players. I’m proud of the program.”

Thai said the team’s NCAA regionals berth can be attributed to their preparation both on and off the course this season.

“Confidence and mindset was the biggest thing, which was probably not what you would have expected considering sports is a lot about performance, but mindset and mentality are also really important,” Thai said. “I have been working a lot on growing my confidence.”

Two of the team’s strongest performers, Sung and Penelope Tir ’24, are at the end of their careers with the Big Green. Thai said she was glad the team was able to send them off with a historic season.

“Penny really pulled through in that final round of Ivies, and she shot the low round of that tournament which is really a great accomplishment,” Thai said. “Kat is always so stable and at the top of the leaderboard. We can always rely on her to put up a good score. So I think we were really lucky that we had such a successful season for their final year because they really deserved it.”

On April 25, Kirk was awarded Ivy League Coach of the Year for the second time, which Sung said was well-deserved. 

“He recruited me, so I’ve kind of been through it all with him,” Sung said. “He’s been an awesome coach, and definitely deserves the award.”

Kirk shared that it was powerful to “earn the respect of his peers,” adding that the landmark season was “an amazing experience to go out and represent the Ivy League.” 

“Even though we’re in the woods of New Hampshire, you can always play out of the woods,” Kirk said.