Kacie Komoto has a great finish at the Spring Opener

RIO GRANDE, PR. -- Northwestern started its spring season off on the right foot, wrapping up the 2014 Lady Puerto Rico Classic with a top three showing. The Wildcats tied for the low round of the day on Tuesday to remain in third place in the competitive 15-team field.

NU, who is ranked No. 19 by, carded a 22-over 886 (301-290-295) to finish five strokes ahead of No. 29 Auburn who finished fourth, six in front of fifth-place Georgia and seven strokes ahead of seventh-ranked Alabama, 15th-ranked NC State and Big Ten foe Purdue, who all tied for sixth. Arkansas won the 15-team field with a 3-over 867 while GRU Augusta was second at 17-over 881.

"Overall, I'm very pleased with our play this week," Northwestern head coach Emily Fletcher said. "We got off to a bit of a slow start the first day but after that we settled down. These girls have worked extremely hard the past six weeks and they were ready to compete. It is exciting to see their efforts being rewarded with some good play. We are making some birdies and just need to minimize a few loose shots here and there. Overall, a very solid start to our spring season."

Northwestern's had its best finish of the season so far thanks to all five competitors placing within the top 30 and finishing within four strokes of each other. A new face led the Wildcats as freshman Kacie Komoto tied for 17th at 5-over 221. After a pair of 74's in the first two rounds, Komoto ended the tournament with her best score, a 1-over 73 for the second top-20 finish of her young Wildcat career.

Sophomore Kaitlin Park was one stroke behind Komoto, finshing at 6-over 222 to tie for 20th. Park matched her best round of the tournament on Tuesday, also carding a 1-over 73. She began the day on the second hole and started with a par, back to back birdies and then had six-straight pars before bogeys on holes 11 and 12. She added two more birdies on the back nine.

Sophomore Suchaya Tangkamolprasert wrapped up the tournament in 23rd place at 7-over 223. She posted a career-low for 18 holes on Monday with a 3-under 69 and finished the tournament with a 3-over 75. She had 13 pars, a birdie and four bogeys on Tuesday.

Fellow sophomore Elizabeth Szokol matched her score from Monday, carding a 2-over 74 on Tuesday to tie for 24th at 8-over 224. Junior Hana Lee was a stroke behind Szokol at 9-over 225 to tie for 27th.

Freshman Minjia Luo competed as an individual for Northwestern and finished with a 251.

The Wildcats have a brief break in competition before resuming their spring schedule March 3-5 at the Hurricane Invitational in Coral Gables, Fla.

Northwestern - 3rd/15 teams (301-290-295=886, +22)
T17 - Kacie Komoto - 74-74-73=221 (+5)
T20 - Kaitlin Park - 76-73-73=222 (+6)
23 - Suchaya Tangkamolprasert - 79-69-75=223 (+7)
T24 - Elizabeth Szokol - 76-74-74=224 (+8)
T27 - Hana Lee - 75-74-76=225 (+9)
T80 - Minjia Luo - 85-83-83=251 (+35)*

* indicates player is competing as an individual

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