Lauren swings into top form in the USA

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Rugby golfer Lauren Taylor has transported her youthful talents to the United States. As a freshman at Baylor University she won the Big 12 Women’s Golf Championship individual title last week.

Her performance helped Baylor finish in second place after shooting 14-over-par 302 in the final round at the Harvester Golf Club.

Baylor’s second-place finish was the best in program history, one spot ahead of 2001, 2005, 2007 and 2012, when the Lady Bears took third place.

The Lady Bears (+43, 907) finished just two strokes back of the tournament champion, 17th-ranked Oklahoma State (+41, 905). Iowa State (+48, 912) placed third overall, and Oklahoma (+64, 928) and Texas Tech (+67, 931) rounded out the top five.

Taylor (-3, 74-68-71=213) became the second freshman in conference history to win the individual title, joining Oklahoma State’s Jaclyn Sweeney, who won in 2008.

Taylor recorded her second straight sub-par score by shooting a final round 1-under-par 71. She won the tournament by eight strokes over Iowa State’s Punpaka Phuntumabamrung (+5, 221), and Taylor was 10 strokes ahead of third place finisher AC Tanguay (+7, 223) of Oklahoma. Taylor carded the lowest score of the tournament in each of the three rounds.

“It’s my first college win, so it’s pretty big for my confidence level,” Taylor said. “And I won by quite a large margin, so I’m pretty happy with that. I think it’s going to make me a lot stronger, and I know I’m a lot more confident now.”

Taylor’s total score of 213 matched the fourth-lowest 54-hole score in championship history. Taylor also birdied hole No. 4 in each round, which was the second-longest hole on the course at 495 yards.

Taylor and Davis both made the All-Tournament team.

“I’m proud of the whole team,” head coach Jay Goble said. “I think in a lot of ways this is going to give us more confidence going into the last two tournaments of the year. “