AXTELL, Neb. – The No. 17-ranked Northeastern State womenâ€™s golf team claimed another team championship after winning the UNK Spring Invitational, which was held at the par-72, 6,236-yard Awarii Dunes Country Club.
The invitational featured all the top teams from the Central Region and is serving as a preview of sorts, as the venue is also scheduled to play host to the 2016 NCAA Central Super Regional May 1-3.
The RiverHawks shot a tournament-low score of 7-over-par 295 in Sundayâ€™s final round to sit seven strokes clear of the field at 31-over 607 (312-295). The event marked the fourth tournament championship of 2015-16 for Northeastern State, who has now won four of its last five events.
No. 25-ranked Central Oklahoma finished runner-up at 38-over 614 (317-297), No. 33 Arkansas Tech landed in third at 42-over 618 (321-297), and Henderson State finished fourth at 44-over 620 (321-299). The quartet of teams all posted a big upset over No. 10 Augustana, who rounded out the top five at 45-over 621 (321-300).
Junior Baylee Price fired a round of 2-under 70 Sunday to claim top individual honors. She shot a tourney-best 1-over 145 (75-70) to collect her second tournament title of the season and the fourth of her career.
Northeastern State now has three individual titles this year, with two coming from Price (NSU Classic) and one from true freshman Ebba Moberg (MIAA Fall Preview).
Senior Charter Lawson tied for fourth at 6-over 150 (75-75) and landed inside the top 5 for the fourth time in her two-year career at Northeastern State.
Moberg tied for sixth at 7-over 151 (77-74), while fellow true freshman Halie Wright tied for 31st at 17-over 161 (85-76). True freshman Kelsey Lumpkin rounded out the team score with a T-40 effort at 20-over 164 (88-76).
The RiverHawks will now head from the frigid land of the north to warmer pastures for their next event. They are scheduled to compete April 1-2 at the Mustang Intercollegiate, which will be contested at the Palm Valley Golf Course in Goodyear, Arizona.
For runnerup Central Oklahoma, Daniela Martinez shot a 1-under-par 71 and Makena Mucciaccio added an even-par 72 in the final round.
The Bronchos shot a closing 297 to finish two trips around the 6,236-yard, par-72 Awarii Dunes Country Club with a 614 total, seven strokes behind winner Northeastern State.
It was the third runner-up finish of the year for UCO, which has placed in the top-six in all eight fall and spring tournaments.
Martinez and Mucciaccio both knocked nine shots off their first-round scores to pace the Bronchos, while Marla Souvannasing had a 75, Grace Shin a 79 and Camilla Schou an 81.
"We played pretty well today and just came up short," head coach Michael Bond said. "We struggled some on the finishing holes, but overall I thought it was a good tournament for us considering how the conditions were with the cold and wind."
Souvannasing and Martinez tied for sixth in the individual standings with 151 totals, while Mucciaccio tied for 11th.
Martinez got off to a hot start and reeled off four straight birdies during one stretch in getting to five-under through 11 holes before making four bogeys the rest of the way. Mucciaccio made the turn at two-under 34 and was three-under after 13 holes before also running into trouble with three bogeys in the final five holes.
Souvannasing had an opening-nine 39 before rallying with an even-par 36 on the back behind a pair of birdies.
UCO returns to action April 11-11 at the Bear State Bank Classic in Russellville, Ark.
Southwestern OSU placed seventh thanks to high on the first day with only one golfer, Courtney Gourdin, shooting a round in the 70’s on Saturday. Gourdin carded a 79 in both rounds and she was the only Lady Bulldog who did not improve their score from the first round to the second as she placed 22nd at the tournament.
Elin Wahlin was SWOSU’s highest finisher with another top-ten finish, tying for ninth after shooting 80 in the first round before firing the Lady Bulldogs low round of the tournament with a 72 on Sunday. Emily Folsom shot rounds of 83 and 76 to finish one shot behind Gourdin while Gloria Choi had rounds of 87 and 78 to tie for 45th and Chloe Thackeray shot two rounds in the 80’s and tied for 61st.
As a team, SWOSU improved by 23 strokes from the first round to the second, counting four scores in the 70’s on Easter Sunday.
SWOSU Women’s Golf has one more event before the Great American Conference Championships, the Central Region Spring Preview, held in Springfield, Missouri on April 11-12.
UNK SPRING INVITATIONAL
March 26-27, 2016 at Axtell, Neb.
(par-72, 6,236-yard Awarii Dunes Country Club)
1. #17 Northeastern State 312-295=607 (+31)
2. #25 Central Oklahoma 317-297=614 (+38)
3. #33 Arkansas Tech 321-297=618 (+42)
4. Henderson State 321-299=620 (+44)
5. #10 Augustana 321-300=621 (+45)
6. Upper Iowa 333-298=631 (+55)
7. #40 Southwestern Oklahoma State 328-305=633 (+57)
8. Iowa Western CC 325-319=644 (+68)
9. Missouri Western State 331-315=646 (+70)
T10. Northwest Missouri State 335-314=649 (+73)
Southwest Minnesota State 331-318=649 (+73)
12. Minnesota State 340-314=654 (+78)
13. Central Missouri 347-313=660 (+84)
14. Nebraska-Kearney 353-320=673 (+97)
15. St. Cloud State 351-343=694 (+118)
16. Fort Hays State 379-333=712 (+136)
Rankings reflect the latest Golfstat.com Polls
1. Baylee Price (Northeastern State) 75-70=145 (+1)
2. Marisa Toivonen (Augustana) 75-73=148 (+4)
3. Avery Struck (Arkansas Tech) 79-70=149 (+5)
T4. Charter Lawson (Northeastern State) 75-75=150 (+6)
Luisa Gartmann (Henderson State) 79-71=150 (+6)
1. Baylee Price 75-70=145 (+1)
T4. Charter Lawson 75-75=150 (+6)
T6. Ebba Moberg 77-74=151 (+7)
T31. Halie Wright 85-76=161 (+17)
T40. Kelsey Lumpkin 88-76=164 (+20)