The freshman‘s 16-under 200 in Arizona also sets a 54-hole program record.
When February began, only the most hardcore Colorado golf fan could tell you who Anna Zanusso was.
But over the course of the month, the University of Denver freshman from Castelfranco Veneto, Italy, has arguably become the most notable college player in the state.
First came the viral video of her receiving the coveted invitation to play in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, which immediately generated anticipation that she—another player with local ties—could bring home the trophy captured in last year’s inaugural event by Colorado’s Jennifer Kupcho.
“Are you prepared?” CBS-4’s Eric Christensen asked during an interview that aired Feb. 5.
“Not really, but I’m going to prepare this next month,” the 19-year-old Italian replied.
AZ rocks AZ
Less than three weeks later, at the Westbrook Spring Invitational in Peoria, Arizona, Zanusso showed just how well those preparations are going.
After firing a 3-under 69 in the first round of the 16-team event, the Augusta-bound freshman holed 11 birdies in a bogey-free round to tie an NCAA record with an 11-under 61. (Interestingly, the last player to accomplish the feat was the University of Colorado star Esther Lee at the 2016 Dick McGuire Invitational in Albuquerque.)
“Anna was incredible today,” Pioneers Head Coach Lindsay Kuhle said.
“She hit 18 of 18 greens and made 11 birdies all of which were within 15 feet of the hole.
Shooting a program and NCAA record is remarkable. I can’t even begin to explain what it was like to see 61. She was in the zone, confident and in control. Her routine was very deliberate and purposeful. I couldn’t be more proud of Z to own this record.”
Closing It Out
Zanusso’s record-setting performance vaulted her into first place by a stroke over the University of Nebraska’s Kate Smith.
By the end of Monday’s third and final round, her margin had increased to three, as Zanusso carded a 2-under 70 on the Westbrook Village Golf Course to earn her second individual collegiate title.
Her first of only two bogeys of the tournament came on the 47th hole, and, significantly, her 20-foot par putt from off the green on the 18th hole secured a score of 16-under 200—a new University of Denver program record.
“Anna Zanusso was extremely confident, aggressive, and competitive this week,” Kuhle said. “She hit the ball extremely well but putted lights out. She made a lot of great par saves and was very steady and in control of her game. She’s worked really hard to get to this point and feel this confident with every part of her game.”
The Pioneers finished fourth with a three-round total of 848 (16-under), just one stroke behind third-place College of Charleston at 17-under (847). See all scores.
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