Williams grad Kayla Smith leads Tar Heels to NCAA championships

By Bob Sutton

Special to The Alamance News

North Carolina fifth-year senior Kayla Smith, a Williams graduate, led the Tar Heels women’s golf team to a spot in the NCAA championships.

North Carolina placed third in the NCAA regional last week at Auburn University Club behind host Auburn and Oregon to be one of five teams from the site to advance.

Smith shot rounds of 72, 72, and 71 for a 1-under-par 215, tying for fifth place. It was her fourth top-10 finish of the season and ninth in her career.

The NCAA championships begin Friday at Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, California. North Carolina has qualified for the championships for the first time since 2017, and will be joined by Duke and Wake Forest among 30 total teams.

Virginia Tech freshman Emily Mathews, an Eastern Alamance alum and past high school state champion, tied for 13th place in the NCAA regional at Tumble Creek Club in Cle Elum, Washington.

Mathews had rounds of 72, 73, and 76 for a 5-over 221 total for the top mark among the Hokies, who finished ninth out of 12 teams in the team standings. Duke placed second in the regional.

Mathews ended the season with a team-high four top-20 tournament finishes.