Backman Secures First Career Title
ORLANDO – University of Miami freshman Anna Backman capped off her strong showing at the UCF Challenge by capturing medalist honors for the first time in her collegiate career.
Backman’s first-place finish paced the Hurricanes’ golf team to a three-round total of 15-under, 849, tying 10th-ranked Kent State for second place in the tournament, while sixth-ranked Vanderbilt placed first at 23-under-par.
“Anna filled Dewi [Weber’s] shoes perfectly,” head coach Patti Rizzo said. “As I said yesterday, she will have an amazing college career. She is steady, consistent and a good putter. It was so fun to have her win the individual title.”
As a team, the Hurricanes rounded out the final day of action with an even-par, 288, to close out the UCF Challenge at 15-under-par. The three round total of 849 is the program’s second-lowest three-round par-72 total, which was set at the Illini Invitational, Oct. 8-9, 2018, with an 846.
“Team got off to a slow start this morning, but rebounded very well,” Rizzo said. “I still think they could have won with fewer mistakes. I’m looking forward to a fun and exciting spring.”
Entering the final day of competition atop the leaderboard at nine-under-par, Backman opened up the morning with a birdie on the par-four, 360-yard first hole. On the third hole, the Vääksy, Finland, native’s 34-hole streak of hitting par or better came to an end with a bogey on the par-four, 375-yard hole. Overall, Backman closed out the front-nine at even-par.
On the back-nine, she rebounded after carding her second bogey of the afternoon, on hole 10, with a pair of birdies on 11 and 13. Following a bogey on hole 14, the freshman knocked in a birdie to re-enter a tie for the overall lead at 10-under-par. On the par-five, 508-yard 16th hole, Backman collected her 13th birdie of the tournament to finish 11-under-par.
With a 205 three-round score, she finished the tournament with the program’s second-lowest individual score, four-strokes behind Weber’s program record of 201, carded during the fall of 2016 at the Betsy Rawls Invitational.
On the final hole of the weekend, Macarena Aguilera carded a birdie to finish one-under-par and to secure the team’s runner-up position alongside Kent State. Overall, the junior finished tied for 49th at three-over-par (219).
Junior Renate Grimstad bounced back from a slow start on Tuesday, to finish tied for 10th in the individual standings at five-under-par (211), while sophomore Kristyna Frydlova finished tied for 26th at even par (216).
Rounding out the Hurricanes’ lineup, graduate student Claudia De Antonio finished tied for 77th with a three-round total of 224.
Miami will return to the course in two weeks, when it travels to New Orleans for the Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate, hosted by Tulane, Feb. 17-19.
To keep up with the University of Miami golf team on social media, follow @HurricanesGolf on Twitter, @CanesGolf on Instagram and @CanesWGolf on Facebook.