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Lillie advances to NCAA Championships with fifth place finish at NCAA Regional

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

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(© Kevin Carden – stock.adobe.com)

The No. 11 Virginia women’s golf team finished ninth at the NCAA Columbus Regional and failed to earn one of the six berths to the national championships, but the Cavaliers will be represented at the event. UVA senior Beth Lillie earned a spot in the field as an individual competitor thanks to her finish at the regional site.

Lillie (Fullerton, Calif.) shot 1-over 73 on Ohio State’s Scarlet Course during Wednesday’s final round of play to tie for fifth place in the field. Her three-round total was 1-over 217. She became one of the three golfers not associated with a team advancing to the NCAA Championships to secure a position in the stroke play portion of the event. This year’s NCAA Championships are slated for Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., from May 21-26.

Lillie played in the NCAA Championships in both 2018 and 2019 when the Cavaliers qualified as a team. She placed 43rd during her sophomore campaign.

Entering the final round of play in seventh place, UVA shot 11-over 299 during on Tuesday to drop back to ninth in the 18-team field. The Cavaliers’ 54-hole total was 30-over 894. No. 18 Georgia won the regional at 1-over 865. Also advancing from the site was Duke (880), Arizona State (880), Kentucky (883), Michigan (885) and Kent State (885).

Lillie’s 73 was the Cavaliers’ best closing round score. Junior Riley Smyth (Cary, N.C.) shot 74 and placed 33rd at 9-over 225. Junior Virginia Bossi (Como, Italy) and freshman Jennifer Cleary (Wilmington, Del.) both shot 77 during the final round. Bossi was 36th at 226 and Cleary finished 55th at 230. Sophomore Celeste Valinho (Jacksonville, Fla.) rounded out UVA’s scoring in 77th place at 235. She posted a final-round score of 75.

Georgia’s Jenny Bae took medalist honors at 4-under 212. She was one of just four players in the 96-competitor field to break par.

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