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Wake Forest leans on freshmen in taking Annika Invite title
Wake Forest's women's golf team (Annika Foundation photo)
Wake Forest's women's golf team (Annika Foundation photo)

With the best teams in the nation trailing them, Wake Forest showed up for the final round of the Annika Intercollegiate on Wednesday and turned a six-shot lead into a 14-shot victory. Anyone worried about the effect that the graduation of Jennifer Kupcho, reigning Augusta National Women’s Amateur champion, would have on this roster can rest assured: Wake Forest women’s golf will be just fine.

The two freshmen in the Demon Deacon lineup shone at Royal Golf Club in Eden Prairie, Minn. Rachel Kuehn won in her first start. She went 13 under for 54 holes and made just three bogeys on the week. On Wednesday, she closed with three birdies in her final six holes to end with 69.

Teammates Siyun Liu and Lauren Walsh, a fellow freshman, finished fifth and T-6, respectively.

Kuehn, however, has a special bit of history behind her victory. She and her mother, All-American and Wake Forest Hall of Famer Brenda Corrie Kuehn ('86), become the first Wake Forest mother-daughter duo to each have earned medalist honors at a collegiate event.

"This victory was an unbelievable finish with such a strong field," said head coach Kim Lewellen. "The conditions were tough and these young ladies played outstanding. It's an incredible feeling as a coach to know that every one of your players is capable of winning an individual title, and they can come together as a unit to win as a team. This is a special group."

As a team, Wake Forest finished with a 5-under 283 in the final round to reach 17 under.

Arkansas, with three new faces in the lineup to start the season, was second at 3 under while Texas was another shot back. Arizona State was solo fourth at 1 over.

USC, which landed the top spot in three preseason polls, moved the opposite direction as the top finishers on Wednesday. Needing a charge to catch Wake Forest, they closed with an 8-over 296 and dropped from second to fifth with their 2-under total.

Information from Wake Forest Athletics used in this report

Results: ANNIKA Intercollegiate
1NCRachel KuehnAsheville, NC80067-67-69=203
2Chinese TaipeiYu-Chiang (Vivian) HouChinese Taipei50068-72-68=208
3TXKaitlyn PappAustin, TX40070-68-71=209
4South AfricaKajal MistrySouth Africa40068-70-73=211
5ChinaSiyun LiuChina40071-70-71=212

View full results for ANNIKA Intercollegiate

ABOUT THE ANNIKA Intercollegiate

54-holes of stroke-play with a field made up of many of the top teams in women's college golf.

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