Golf, NCAA, Sports

Women’s golf wins Patriot League Championship, will enter NCAA regionals as No. 11 seed

Women's golf notebook - Flair Kuan Patriot League win
Sophomore Flair Kuan during a women’s golf meet. The Boston University women’s golf team won its third Patriot League championship April 17 after Kuan sank an eight-foot putt in one stroke. COURTESY OF MATT WOOLVERTON

The heat was on for Flair Kuan on the third day of the Patriot League Championship. The Boston University’s women’s golf team trailed the University of Richmond by one stroke and Kuan would have to sink the eight-foot putt in front of her to clinch the conference championship for the team. 

Calmly, she set up for the stroke, hit the ball and — surrounded by her team, head coach Bruce Chalas and all the other teams — watched as it sunk into the hole. 

“She was most definitely going to make the putt. She knew she had to make it. She made a good stroke and the ball went into the hole,” Chalas said.

It was just one stroke, but the implications were enormous. With the putt, BU won its third Patriot League championship on April 17. 

Earlier in the day, the team had a seven-stroke advantage, but ultimately found themselves in a one-stroke deficit. 

In addition to her putting heroics, Kuan would go on to win the individual title — ending the tournament just over par at +8. She also earned Patriot League Golfer of the Year.

“Flair’s been our number one player all year. She’s played very well this year,” Chalas said. “She’s just played so consistent all year.” 

Kuan has played in all ten events that the Terriers have competed in this season and earned a 73.52 stroke average across those events. She also boasts five top-five finishes — the most on the team. She has also earned All-Patriot League First Team honors for the second time in a row.

Despite the close competition, Chalas, named the conference’s Women’s Golf Coach of the Year, was confident in his team and their skills, likely in part to their success during the regular season. The team placed first twice over the course of their season and had seven top-five finishes. 

“I always felt during [the tournament] we were never going to not win even in the last couple of holes, last one went real tight,” Chalas said. 

Other top-10 individual players included freshman Christy Chen and senior Hanako Kawasaki, who finished in sixth and seventh, respectively. Both Chen and Kawasaki have been consistently contributing to the team’s strong performances. Chen has three top-five appearances in ten events and a stroke average of 76.34. Kawasaki has golfed 13 par-or-better rounds this season and has placed in the top-five four times.

Next up for the Terriers is the NCAA Regional competition on May 9-11. They will compete at the Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tennessee as the No. 11 seed in a pool of 12 teams that were either automatic qualifiers due to winning their conference or received a bid into the postseason.

“It’s been a long year. It’s been a long spring. We’ve traveled hard. We’ve been to five events. We played a lot of cold weather, cold, windy weather, had a lot of canceled flights, lot of three-hour, five-hour delayed flights,” Chalas said. “It’s important that we take a bit of a break and just step back a little bit, catch our breath a little bit, enjoy the winning of the Patriot League.”

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