TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Behind a 12-shot improvement from Monday’s first round score, and the best round of the day by seven strokes, the Southwestern Oklahoma State women’s golf team vaulted up to the top of the leaderboard and won the 18th Annual NSU Golf Classic on Tuesday at Cherokee Springs Golf Course.
SWOSU entered the final round in third place, trailing Northeastern State by 11 strokes and Central Oklahoma by 12, but by midway through the second round the Lady Dawgs had moved past UCO and had their sights set on the tournament hosts. NSU maintained a slight lead as the tournament went down to the wire, but in the end it was the visitors from Weatherford who came all the way back to win event by one stroke.
Led by a round of 1-under 71 from Elin Wahlin, the Lady Bulldogs were the only team to shoot a round below 300 on Tuesday. Wahlin moved into a tie for third place, matching her teammate Gloria Choi, who fired a second consecutive round of 74. Joining the duo in the top ten for the tournament was Emily Folsom, who carded a second straight 76 to finish tied for ninth.
Making the difference in the comeback for SWOSU was at the bottom of the lineup, where Jenna Eidem and Chloe Thackeray shot rounds of 76 and 77, respectively, after both players were in the 80’s in Monday’s opening round. Eidem finished tied for 25th with a two-round total of 158 strokes while Thackeray was two shots behind and tied for 31st place.
"I’m extremely proud of the toughness and resolve shown by our Lady Bulldogs team this week," SWOSU coach Brad Fleetwood said after the tournament. "We got ourselves in a bit of a hole on Monday, but the determination showed by our girls to come all the way back today was great to see. I’m really looking forward to watching our team continue to come together and grow as a group."
SWOSU finished the tournament with a stroke total of 606, which was one stroke better than Northeastern State and seven shots ahead of Central Oklahoma. The win is the first for the Lady Bulldogs as a team since they claimed the top prize at the GAC Women’s Preview in October of 2013.
With back-to-back top-two finishes to their credit, the Lady Bulldogs now have some time off before returning to action on October 5-6 at the Central Oklahoma Classic, played at Fairfax Golf Course in Edmond.
NSU, playing in their home event, shot a final-round score of 309 Tuesday to land at 31-over-par 607.
For the second year in a row and the third time in her career, senior Baylee Price captured top honors at the home event. She won this yearâ€™s tourney after firing a 2-over 146 (72-74). Sophomore Ebba Moberg tied for third at 4-over 148 (71-77), while sophomore Halie Wright landed T-18 at 12-over 156 (76-80).
Sophomore Alexis Armon tied for 21st at 13-over 157, while fellow sophomore Kelsey Lumpkin was T-54 at 23-over 167 (86-81).
Junior Fiona Hakanen, playing as an individual, tied for 49th at 21-over 165 (81-84). Sophomore Kennedy Hudson, also competing as an individual, finished solo 92nd at 50-over 194 (104-90).
UCO entered the day in first place, but came up short in round two.
"We struggled start to finish and dug ourselves a hole we couldn’t climb out of," Central Oklahoma head coach Michael Bond said. "But, we have a week off so we can get some quality practice in and be ready for the next one."
Marla Souvannasing finished in a tie for third-place. The junior shot a 1-over par in the first round and a 3-over in today’s final round to finish at 148.
Makena Mucciaccio finished tied for ninth at 152, she shot a 74 on Monday and a 78 on Tuesday. Anna Pool also shot a 74 on Monday before shooting an 82 today to finish at 152. Sydney Roberts was tied for 21st with a 157 and Grace Shin tied for 42nd with a 163.
Oklahoma Christian’s Kate Goodwin fired an even-par 72 on Tuesday in the final round of the Northeastern State Golf Classic to seal a seventh-place finish in the opening event of the Lady Eagles’ fall season.
Goodwin’s 72 at Cherokee Springs Golf Course included five birdies — three in a row on the back nine — and was the second-best round posted by any of the 98 players in the tournament field. It gave her a two-day score of 149, three shots behind Price.
It was the fourth career top-10 finish for Goodwin, a sophomore from Tulsa.
As a team, OC’s second-round team score of 304 was a nine-shot improvement over the opening round and left the Lady Eagles with a final tally of 617, good for fourth place in the 18-team tournament. OC finished higher than any other NCAA Division II South Central Region team in the field.
OC’s No. 2 player was sophomore Elizabeth Freeman, who shot a 5-over 77 on the 5,927-yard course for the second straight day to close at 154, in 13th place. One shot behind her, tied for 14th, was freshman Abigail Rigsby, who shot a final-round 76 (a three-shot improvement) and finished at 155.
Senior Allison Sell also improved from the first to second round, shooting a 79 on Tuesday to finish at 159, tied for 27th. So did freshman Ashton Nemecek, whose 80 left her at 165, tied for 47th.
Rogers State began and finished the day in fifth place behind a 306. The Hillcats shaved eight strokes off their opening round score to post the third-best team round of the day, but could not catch anyone higher in the standings in an 18-team field stacked with regional opponents. RSU ended the event with a two-day score of 620, three shots back of fourth place. Mica Eastin used an even-par back nine to make a jump into the top 10 as an individual finishing in a tie for ninth. The senior fired a round of 2-over-par 74 to lead the team at the tournament turning in a pair of birdies on the day. It marked the 11th top-10 finish for the Carrollton, Texas native in her career with the Hillcats.
After going out in 1-over-par 37, Stirling Phillips carded her second birdie of the day on the par-3 13th to post a 78 in the final round to tie for 14th place. She ended the opening tournament play even on the par-3’s to lead the field of 97 golfers.
In the closing round of her first collegiate tournament, Mariana Flores cruised through the opening nine holes shooting all pars on the front nine and was even par through 12 holes. The freshman hit a rough patch and capped her day with a 77 to place in the top 20 tied for 18th overall. She closed the event with 24 pars to rank third of all competitors.
Elizabeth McCloskey showed the biggest improvement for the navy and red between rounds one and two by dropping seven strokes off her score. The redshirt sophomore got off to a quick start firing birdies on the second and third holes before netting her third birdie of the day on No. 16 to finish with a 77. Her five birdies for the tournament ranked fifth in the field.
Kina Boone closed the day for the Hillcats putting together a score of 82 with 11 pars during her final round.
18th Annual NSU Womenâ€™s Golf Classic — Final Results
September 12-13, 2016 at Tahlequah, Okla.
(par-72, 5,927-yard Cherokee Springs Golf Club)
1. Southwestern Oklahoma State 309-297=606 (+30)
2. Northeastern State 298-309=607 (+31)
3. Central Oklahoma 297-316=613 (+37)
4. Oklahoma Christian 313-304=617 (+41)
5. Rogers State 314-306=620 (+44)
6. Missouri Western State 314-311=625 (+49)
T7. Newman 324-311=635 (+59)
Arkansas-Fort Smith 321-314=635 (+59)
9. Henderson State 323-316=639 (+63)
10. Cameron 329-317=646 (+70)
11. Southern Nazarene 329-328=657 (+81)
12. Oklahoma Baptist 332-329=661 (+85)
13. Harding 339-335=674 (+98)
14. Southern Arkansas 341-343=684 (+108)
15. Fort Hays State 343-354=697 (+121)
16. Northwestern Oklahoma State 343-355=698 (+122)
17. Southwest Baptist 363-362=725 (+149)
18. Lincoln 376-372=748 (+172)
1. Baylee Price (Northeastern State) 72-74=146 (+2)
2. Shi Qing Ong (Missouri Western State) 74-73=147 (+3)
T3. Ebba Moberg (Northeastern State) 71-77=148 (+4)
Elin Wahlin (Southwestern Oklahoma State) 77-71=148 (+4)
Gloria Choi (Southwestern Oklahoma State) 74-74=148 (+4)
Marla Souvannasing (Central Oklahoma) 72-76=148 (+4)