Grimstad Runs Away with First Collegiate Title
ORLANDO, Fla. – University of Miami senior golfer Renate Grimstad opened her final spring season in dominant fashion, capturing gold medalist honors for the first time in her collegiate career.
“That was awesome, I’m so happy I was able to pull it off,” Grimstad said. “Winning my first title means so much, not just because I won, but because of all the hard work over the last three and half years finally paying off. I was nervous going in to the final round because I’ve been in that position before without getting the trophy at the end, but I felt so calm and excited before teeing off.
“It’s strange to say it like this, but I kind of knew I would be able to win. I had this feeling that it was my turn and in the past it’s gone my way when that feeling comes along,” Grimstad continued. “I have to admit that I surprised myself a little bit the first two rounds. I knew I had it in me to play that well, but because it’s the first tournament of the year and it’s been a couple months since the last time I competed, I didn’t know how quickly I would adjust to that mindset. This week has been sort of a validation for me and I’m so happy I got to experience winning at Miami.”
Grimstad’s first-place finish at the UCF Challenge paced the Hurricanes’ golf team to a three-round total of 14-under, 850, to finish third place in the tournament, while third-ranked Kent State placed first at 21-under-par.
“Renni earned every bit of her win,” head coach Patti Rizzo said. “She works harder than anyone and never quit believing her day would come. We have always known she’s loaded with talent and I just kept telling her, ‘her day would come.’ I’m so proud of her.”
Entering the final day of competition atop the leaderboard at 11-under-par, Grimstad quickly jumped out to a six-stroke lead on the competition with a birdie on the par-5, 487-yard fifth hole.
On the eighth hole the Bergen, Norway, native’s streak of 34 consecutive par or better holes came to an end with a bogey, but on the very next hole the senior carded her 13th birdie to move back to 12-under. Overall, Grimstad (202, -14) capped the weekend with 51 par or better holes, 16 birdies and the second lowest relative to par score in program history.
“As for the team…they hung in there well and finished strong, but they haven’t peaked,” Rizzo said. “There is room for improvement, but we are right where we needed to be for our first event. We didn’t give it away, we just got beat. Kent State played awesome.”
Overall, the Hurricanes rounded out the final day of action with a five-under, 283, carding eight combined birdies over the final four holes.
Kristyna Frydlova got off to a strong start on Tuesday, carding four birdies on the front nine including three in a row on the seventh, eighth and ninth holes. Overall, the junior finished tied for 12th at three-under 213.
Following closely behind, sophomore Anna Backman and freshman Franziska Sliper both finished tied for 43rd at three-over 219.
Rounding out the Hurricanes’ lineup, freshman Daniella Barrett (224, +8) finished tied for 55th, freshman Morgan Pankow (225, +9) finished tied for 62nd, and senior Macarena Aguilera (229, +13) finished tied for 77th.
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. 16-18.