Choi leads SWOSU into match play at Division II National Championship

Complete scoring:

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Behind a national runner-up finish from senior Gloria Choi, the Southwestern Oklahoma State women’s golf team advanced to the Match Play portion of the NCAA Division II Women’s Golf Championships after tying for fourth place in stroke play, which concluded on Thursday.

Choi birdied the first three holes to move into the lead during the final round and she entered the most difficult portion of the course at 1-under for the day after recording eight straight pars from holes 7-14. A birdie on the par-3 15th hole got Choi back to 2-under, but double bogeys on 16 and 17 dropped her to 2-over for the round and 1-over for the tournament, which is where she finished after getting a par on 18. Jaime Jacob of Cal State San Marcos won the tournament by one stroke over Choi after finishing at even par.

SWOSU’s score improved by one stroke over Wednesday’s total despite only Choi and Veronika de Bochdanovits shooting in the 70’s. Bochdanovits finished tied for 15th after posting a round of 79 on Thursday, while Elin Wahlin (80) and Jenna Eidem (82) rounded out the team scoring.

Awaiting the Lady Bulldogs in the national quarterfinal match will be Barry University, who is the top-ranked team in NCAA Division II entering the championships. SWOSU and Barry both tied for fourth place at the tournament, trailing Florida Tech, Cal State San Marcos and Indianapolis. The first two rounds of match play will take place on Friday at PGA National’s Champions Course.

Oklahoma Christian and Northeastern State missed the cut, finishing 12th and 13th respectively.

OC posted a team score of 323 on Thursday at PGA National Resort’s Champions Course, finishing the event by rising two spots to 12th in the elite 16-team field. The Eagles, making their first appearance in the Division II tournament, weren’t among the eight teams that advanced to match play, but their final-day rally gave them something positive to embrace as their season ended.

The 18th-ranked Eagles posted a three-round score of 965, putting them 42 shots behind the top team in stroke play, No. 5 Florida Tech, and 21 behind the eighth-place squad, No. 14 Findlay (Ohio).

Junior Abigail Rigsby of Courtenay, British Columbia, was OC’s top player Friday and the Eagles’ top overall finisher, shooting a 7-over-par 80 on the 6,081-yard course to close at 237, tied for 28th in the 95-woman field. Earlier in the day, Rigsby was named to the Google Cloud Academic All-District At-Large team by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

Three Eagles each shot an 81 on Thursday – sophomore Shaley Goad of Wheeler, Texas, and seniors Kate Goodwin of Tulsa and Elizabeth Freeman of Edmond. Goad finished at 238, tied for 32nd; Goodwin tied for 57th at 246 and Freeman tied for 84th at 256.

Freshman Alexandria Bennett of Plano, Texas, who had the team’s top round of the tournament with a first-round 75, closed with an 85 and tied for 68th at 248. She joined Goodwin and Freeman in birdieing the par-3 No. 17. The team combined for seven birdies Thursday, with Goodwin and Goad recording two each.

NSU scored a 969 (320-318-331) to finish 13th. Tough pin placements rocketed scores in the final round of medal play with the RiverHawks limited to only five birdies as a group.

Ebba Moberg completed her final tournament at NSU as their top finisher placing tied for 28th overall on a 237 score (80-74-83).  Aitana Hernandez turned in an 80 on Thursday and was tied for 36th overall scoring a 239 (80-79-80).

Kelsey Lumpkin matched Hernandez’s score in her final career round and tied for 50th with a three-round total at 243 (79-84-80).

Lexi Armon and Nina Lee both shot 88s in their final round.  Lee finished two strokes ahead of Armon with a 253 (84-81-88) tied for 75th.  Armon scored a 255 (81-86-88) and tied for 82nd place.

The RiverHawks completed their 2018-19 season with three tournament wins and seven top-5 finishes.

National Quarterfinal Matches:

(1) Florida Tech vs. (8) Findlay

(2) Cal State San Marcos vs. (7) Dallas Baptist

(3) Indianapolis vs. (6) Limestone

(T4) SWOSU vs. (T4) Barry

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