Dores Swing into Second for Spring Opener

Kim, Kiel finish in the top-five

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Vanderbilt finished 26-under-par as a team Tuesday to stay in second at the FAU Paradise Invitational. The mark is the third lowest 54-hole score in program history.

The Commodores, in their first event of the spring season, were just three strokes behind SEC opponent No. 5 Florida, at the Osprey Point Golf Club in Boca Raton, Florida.

“First off congrats to a very good and well coached Florida team,” said head coach Greg Allen. “They had a couple young ladies step up big down the stretch. I am so proud of how we handled the day. Our girls looked calm and poised all day long and did a nice job of going shot for shot against a top-five team. They just happened to make a couple more birdies than we did late in the round.”

The Dores were led by senior standout Auston Kim and newcomer Natasha Kiel, who both finished in a tie for fifth with a 208 (-8). Kiel is now tied for 12th lowest 54-hole score in program history after an outstanding day with a career-low round of 67 (-5) in her first road test.

“I can’t say enough about the tournament Natasha (Kiel) just played, said Allen. “She did everything well this week and got a big shot of confidence.”

Junior Virginie Ding also finished in the top-10 with a score of 211 (-5), while fifth-year Louise Yu shot a 213 (-3). Rounding out the team is junior Jayna Choi who finished in a tie for 62nd at 226 (+10).

Julia Lopez-Ramirez of Mississippi State took home the individual trophy by shooting a 200 (-16).

“Obviously we wanted to win today, but I believe we learned a lot about ourselves that will help us down the road,” said Allen. “I’m very optimistic about this team and can’t wait to keep moving forward.”

Up Next

At the end of the month the Commodores will take center stage at the highly-anticipated Darius Rucker Intercollegiate (Feb. 28-March 2) held at the Long Cove Club in Hilton Head, South Carolina.

Hosted by multi-platinum country artist and PXG ambassador Darius Rucker, the event marks the first all-women’s regular season collegiate golf tournament to be presented live on the GOLF Channel.