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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

Cernousek captures individual national title as Aggies advance to NCAA quarterfinals

Photo by Photo by Chris Swann
Junior Adela Cernousek tees off during the Bryan Regional of the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship at Traditions Golf Club on Monday, May 6, 2024. (Chris Swann/ The Battalion)

It didn’t take long for Texas A&M athletics to add another accolade to its trophy case.

Just a day after the Aggies’ women’s tennis program captured its first national championship, junior golfer Adela Cernousek continued to make history, claiming the school’s first individual title at the 2024 NCAA Women’s Golf Championships on Monday, May 20.

Beginning May 17, Cernousek notched a 12-under 276 across four rounds of stroke play at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, California to captain A&M to a third-place finish and advancement to the national quarterfinals. The Aggies posted a 5-over 1,157 score, the second-lowest showing over 72 holes in team history.

“It hasn’t really sunk in,” Cernousek said. “This is a crazy feeling, and I am so proud to be the first individual national champion for Texas A&M. The tournament is not over so we are getting ready for match play, but this is a dream. I had a couple of opportunities to win in the fall, but I wasn’t able to finish it off. It means a lot for my first collegiate win to be here.”

Cernousek led the charge, opening the tournament with three consecutive rounds at 4-under 68. The French product’s six-stroke cushion over Florida State sophomore and 2024 Augusta National Women’s Amateur Champion Lottie Woad was strong enough to keep her in first after an even-par showing in the final round.

“I told Adela that she will always be a national champion and that no one can take that from her,” coach Gerrod Chadwell said. “I couldn’t think of a more deserving person. Adela is the epitome of a student-athlete and a hard worker. She is selfless and only cares about the team. She is beyond worthy of this and we can’t wait to get to match play tomorrow.”

Following a tie for third place after the first round of action, Cernousek captured the individual lead for good over the final three days. Her individual-high 19 birdies paved the way for the Aggies’ team-high 59.

“When I finished the second round and the third round, when I looked at the leaderboards [I knew I had a shot at the individual title],” Cernousek said. “There was a lot of golf left to play, so I was just trying to stick to my game plan, just keep going.”

The individual title isn’t the only recent championship for Cernousek, who claimed a one-stroke victory at the U.S. Open Qualifier in Pearland on May 14. Her performance earned her the opportunity to compete in the U.S. Women’s Open Championship from May 30 to June 2.

A&M entered Monday with a one-stroke advantage over Stanford at 10-under, but four consecutive days of competition caught up to the Aggies, as four of their five golfers fired their highest scores of the tournament. The Maroon and White shot 15-over on the final day to allow Stanford and LSU to tie for the top spot at 2-over.

“I think they’re hungry, I think they’re a little pissed because they let a couple of these rounds get away from them,” Chadwell said. “I think they’ve seen that they know they’re good enough.”

Freshman Cayetana Fernández García-Poggio matched Cernousek’s 4-under in the first round, but couldn’t match that production as she closed at 2-over 290, tying for 16th place despite being tied for fourth after Sunday. Her sister, graduate Blanca Fernández García-Poggio, didn’t finish a round higher than 3-over as she tied for 24th at 5-over 293.

Senior Zoe Slaughter found herself tied for 21st and ahead of Blanca Fernández García-Poggio entering the final round, but sunk to a tie for 45th and 10-over 298 after posting 8-over on Monday. Graduate Jennie Park matched Slaughter’s performances in the final two rounds en route to placing 74th at 15-over 303.

As A&M eyes its third consecutive trip to the national semifinals, it will first match up with UCLA in the quarterfinals after the Bruins tied for sixth at 19-over. The Aggies’ No. 3 seed ties the program’s best finish in stroke play, matching its 2022 performance.

With the exception of Cayetana Fernández García-Poggio, each of A&M’s golfers competed in the past two semifinal runs with at least eight match play wins. Blanca Fernández García-Poggio boasts 14 victories while Cernousek has 12.

Each of UCLA’s five golfers placed in the top 50 in stroke play, headlined by junior Zoe Antoinette Campos’ tie for 10th place at even-par. Blanca Fernández García-Poggio’s pairing with sophomore Meghan Royal will kick off the action at 8:50 a.m. on Tuesday, May 21.

If the Aggies advance, they will take on the winner between LSU and No. 7 Oregon immediately following the quarterfinals. Action can be viewed on Golf Channel from noon to 2:30 p.m.

“They’re hungry, and, this group together, they want to go out champions,” Chadwell said. “They’ve been close, they’ve tasted it. For three of them, this is it, and they want to be epic. The vibes are good.”

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About the Contributor
Luke White
Luke White, Sports Editor
Luke White is a junior telecommunication media studies major and sport management minor from Round Rock, Texas. He has served as head sports editor since May 2023.
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