Jasmine Ly earns top-30 finish at NCAA Ann Arbor Regional

Sophomore+Jasmine+Ly+takes+a+swing+during+the+NCAA+Ann+Arbor+Regional+on+May+9-11.+Ly+finished+12-over-par+at+the+University+of+Michigan+Golf+Course+in+Ann+Arbor%2C+Michigan.+%28Corey+Rush%2FEKU%29

Corey Rush

Sophomore Jasmine Ly takes a swing during the NCAA Ann Arbor Regional on May 9-11. Ly finished 12-over-par at the University of Michigan Golf Course in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Corey Rush/EKU)

By Skyler Kisellus, Sports Reporter

DeKALB — Sophomore women’s golfer Jasmine Ly closed out a historic sophomore campaign Wednesday at the NCAA Ann Arbor Regional. She finished in a three-way tie for 29th place after hitting 12-over-par through three rounds to earn a score of 225.

Ly became the first NIU women’s golfer to compete in an NCAA Regional. She is also the first Huskie from either team to participate in the NCAAs since men’s golfer Kelly Holmes in 1985.

“We’re super proud of Jasmine; what a great season for her,” said women’s golf head coach Kim Kester in an NIU Athletics news release Wednesday. “Anytime you finish in the top half of the field in an event like this with the caliber of players that were here, it’s a great accomplishment. The experience for her was fantastic and it’s always nice to end the tournament with your lowest round.”

Ly earned her spot after emerging as the individual championship at the Mid-American Conference Championship on April 22-24. Her performance helped lead the Huskies to a second-straight runner-up finish as a team in the conference championship.

She spent three days playing at the University of Michigan Golf Course in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The course is a par 71, 6,265-yard course with 18 holes. Ly competed alongside five other individuals and 12 teams.

Windy conditions create trouble for Ly

Ly teed off on the 10th hole of the first round Monday. She recorded pars on the first five holes before posting a double bogey on hole 15. Ly parred on holes 16 and 17 before her second bogey on hole 18. She sat at four-over-par after the first nine holes.

“This is a course that if you miss a fairway, it’s going to play a lot tougher,” Kester said in an NIU Athletics news release Monday. “It was a windy day so that made the course extremely tough and a couple of loose shots got her in trouble.”

The first hole of the front nine resulted in par before Ly posted back-to-back bogeys on the second and third holes. Ly parred the following two holes and notched a birdie on the sixth hole to bring her par score down to five-over. She recorded a bogey on the next hole and then two pars to end the round at six-over-par and a score of 77.

Ly was one of six golfers to tie for 41st place at the end of Monday’s first round.

Steadily climbing the leaderboard

Ly’s second round began with a performance nearly identical to that of the first round. She posted pars on the first five holes, double-bogeyed on hole 15, and had back-to-back pars for the second day in a row. Ly was able to correct her previous misstep on hole 18 from the first round by going par to close out the back nine. She was two-over-par entering the final nine holes of the second round.

The Windsor, Ontario, product hit par on the first hole before encountering issues on the second hole similar to those from the previous round. Ly posted a double bogey on the hole and recorded pars on the four following holes. She brought her par score up to five-over with a bogey on the seventh hole. A birdie on the next hole took her down to four-over-par. A par on the Ly’s ninth and final hole cemented that as her final stroke count to close Tuesday’s second round with a score of 75.

“Jasmine’s putting was fantastic today,” Kester said in an NIU Athletics news release Tuesday. “She was making clutch putts from everywhere, six and seven-footers to save par. She had two errant tee shots (on 15 and 2) and that’s what got her today.”

Ly trimmed two strokes off her score and jumped up six places on the leaderboard Tuesday. She was tied with two other competitors for 35th place at 10-over-par, 152, after 36 holes.

Ly saves best round for last

Ly began Friday’s final round with pars on holes 10 and 12 with a birdie in between. She then ran into bogey trouble with four birdies on the last six holes of the back nine. The pair of non-bogies were pars on holes 14 and 17. Ly found herself at three-over-par after nine holes.

Ly opened the front nine on a high note with a birdie on the first hole. A bogey two holes later brought her to three-over-par. Ly parred holes four through seven and returned to two-over-par with a birdie on the eighth hole.

She shaved another two strokes from her second-round score to finish the third round at two-over-par and a score of 73. Ly climbed six places to finish the tournament in a battle for 29th place. She tied with Eastern Kentucky University graduate student Ragnhildur “Ragga” Kristinsdottir and University of Central Florida junior Tunrada Piddon. Each posted final results of 12-over-par, 225, after three days of competition.

“Jaz played well (Wednesday),” Kester said in Wednesday’s release. “She kept the ball in play and put herself in scoring positions, made a lot of good putts and positioned herself extremely well to make those birdies. This was a great experience to build on, to get a taste of what it’s like to play in the NCAAs and we’ve talked all week about working to get the team here. This was a great experience for her to build on and take back to the rest of the team.”

San Jose State University senior Natasha Andrea Oon took top honors on the individual leaderboard after hitting six-under-par during the three-day event. SJSU was one of four teams to advance to the next round along with the University of Virginia, the University of Arkansas and the University of Michigan.

Wrapping up a season for the books

Ly wraps up her sophomore season with a school record stroke average of 73.66 over 32 rounds. She is the first NIU women’s golfer to finish the season with a stroke average below 74. Ly shot 14 rounds of par or below in 2021-22 and became the first MAC Champion in NIU history.

She will now join the rest of the women’s golf team as they prepare for the Fall 2022 competition schedule.