Wichita State Shockers

'Beyond storybook': WSU's Taryn Torgerson breaks record to win AAC golf championship

Taryn Torgerson won the AAC individual championship in record-setting fashion Tuesday for the WSU women's golf team.
Taryn Torgerson won the AAC individual championship in record-setting fashion Tuesday for the WSU women's golf team. Eagle file photo

Taryn Torgerson has been fixated on the date of her final round of collegiate golf for more than a year now.

She knew April 17, 2018 was coming at Hammond Beach Resort in Palm Coast, Fla., where the American Athletic Conference championships would be held in the final event of her senior year at Wichita State.

Imagine knowing when your collegiate career was going to end, then going out and shooting your career-low round, breaking the conference tournament record, and rallying to win the individual championship in a playoff on the final day.

That was Torgerson's reality on Tuesday, as the Buhler native delivered an 8-under round of 64, then won the title with a birdie putt on the first playoff hole against East Carolina's Dorthea Forbrigd. Torgerson finished at 5-under 211 for the three-day tournament.

"It's the best day of my life, without a doubt," Torgerson said in a phone interview. "It was a bittersweet feeling walking off of that green, but I couldn't imagine a better way to go out."

"Best Shocker in school history for women's golf, absolutely," WSU coach Tom McCurdy said. "That was beyond storybook."

The day began with Torgerson tied for fourth place, three strokes behind Forbrigd in the lead.

But with ideal weather conditions and her driver consistently putting Torgerson further than her competition and in the middle of the fairway, it became evident early on that she was going to be able to attack the course.

Torgerson birdied five of the first 10 holes and finished the round with eight birdies and an eagle on the 347-yard, par-4 No. 16. Even with two bogeys, Torgerson still fired a career-best round.

"I was just hitting a lot of really great shots," Torgerson said. "It wasn't like I was having to make 20-foot birdie putts. I had probably three or four two-footers for birdie."

Torgerson also credited her coach, McCurdy, for walking the course with her on Tuesday. He knew she would be in contention for the title and wanted to make sure to provide the support that Torgerson needed.

"I have to give (McCurdy) a lot of the credit because it was a very emotional day in general knowing it was my last collegiate tournament and he did a great job of helping me stay present in the moment," Torgerson said. "He kept me grounded and I'm so thankful that he did that."

"She really did take it one shot at a time and she really never hit a ball where it shouldn't have gone," McCurdy said. "It's what coaches always preach and she did. I was really just out there to keep her company and make sure her mind was in the right place."

That job was crucial when Torgerson finished her round with a birdie on No. 18 to establish a three-stroke lead, only to watch as Forbrigd rallied from three strokes back to close out her round with three straight birdies to force a playoff.

"That was so nerve-wracking," Torgerson said. "I couldn't even watch her final birdie putt on No. 18."

But Torgerson rallied to win in a playoff for a perfect ending to the most dominant career in WSU women's golf history. She broke her own 54-hole and season stroke average record during her senior year and also finished with the lowest career stroke average in program history.

"Coach gave me a shot four years ago to be a Division I golfer and now here we are today, a two-time conference champion," Torgerson said. "And then to have my teammates storm the green to celebrate with me, that was just incredible. It's a moment I'll never forget."