Women’s golf falls in ACC Championship semifinals

The Demon Deacons fail to defend their 2022 ACC title


Courtesy of Wake Forest Athletics

Wake Forest women’s golf competes in the ACC Championship.

Ian Steffensen, Sports Editor

The No. 1 ranked Wake Forest women’s golf team began its postseason push this weekend at the ACC Championship. The Demon Deacons looked to defend their title from last year, coming off a strong regular season where they finished with a program record of five team titles. Wake Forest started its campaign strong, winning the stroke-play portion of the event and earning the top seed, but they couldn’t get the job done against the University of Virginia Cavaliers in the semifinal, losing 3-2.

“Today was not the outcome we wanted, but we played well and fought until the end,” Head Coach Kim Lewellen said. “The putts just didn’t go our way.”

The tournament kicked off on Thursday with two rounds of stroke play. It was an all-around great performance by the Demon Deacons as they led all scoring on par-fives, going 24 under on those holes. They also led the field with 36 birdies. Senior Rachel Kuehn put together an outstanding opening round with a score of 66. She carded four birdies and an eagle on the par five 18th hole to close out her round. In the second round, junior Mimi Rhodes shot a career-low 67 with five birdies, and she also took advantage of the final hole with an eagle. These stellar performances propelled Wake Forest to the top of the leaderboard with a five-stroke lead over the field. 

In Friday’s third and final round of stroke play, the Demon Deacons continued where they left off. Kuehn was even in her final round and finished with a 54-hole score of eight under par to earn her third place. Wake Forest was just one of two schools to finish under par on the day, with a total score of four under par. The Demon Deacons won the stroke play portion of the tournament by a whopping eight strokes and earned the top seed in Saturday’s semifinal against No. 4-seed Virginia.   

In the semifinal, Wake Forest jumped out to an early lead with graduate student Emilia Migliaccio clinching her match on the 16th hole. Kuehn followed suit, clinching her match up three with two holes left. Wake Forest senior Lauren Walsh faced off against individual champion Amanda Sambach. Walsh clawed her way back from being down three, and she was only down one going into the final hole. Sambach got the job done on the final hole and took the match for the Cavaliers. Junior Mimi Rhodes went into the final hole all square with Megan Propeck. Rhodes had trouble taking advantage of the par five but made a nice up and down for par. However, Propeck sunk the five-foot birdie putt to win the hole and the match.

We’re going to get back home and get some rest then get back to work next week.

— Head Coach Kim Lewellen

 Now all square at two matches a piece, Wake Forest’s title defense rested on sophomore Carolina Chacarra. Down one heading into the final hole, Chacarra found trouble, hitting her second shot into the bunker. Luckily she was able to bounce back and hit her third shot from the bunker to about a foot from the pin. Chacarra birdied the final hole, but her adversary Rebecca Skoler also birdied to seal the Cavalier victory. 

“We have a lot left and are looking forward to Regionals and NCAA Championships to finish out the year the right way,” Lewellen added. “We’re going to get back home and get some rest then get back to work next week.”  

The Demon Deacons will find out where they will play at regionals on Wednesday, April 26, and the NCAA regional rounds will begin May 8.