CATOOSA – Northeastern State placed second and Rogers State third to the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith in the 23rd NSU Golf Classic Tuesday at the Cherokee Hills Golf Club.
Fort Smith won the tournament by ten strokes in its season debut, shooting a 591 (299-292). Northeastern State shot 304 in the second round and was 11-strokes over par on the back nine. Rogers State placed third after a final-rouond 298 pulled the team within seven shots of NSU.
Aitana Hernandez of NSU tied for second place at 145 (72-73). The top-five finish is her 10th in 39 career starts.
Playing as an individual, Kelly Swanson placed tied for 15th overall, shooting a 152 (73-79).
Rogers State rallied from sixth place on Monday to finish third.
“What a comeback,” said head coach Whitney Hocutt. “I am so proud of this team and their fight. Cherokee Hills can be a very difficult and unforgiving course. Each of our ladies fought each and every hole for 36 holes. In round one, we made some fundamental mistakes that cost us strokes, and today they came out and cleaned those up. They proved what we can do this season. I cannot wait for more from this team! Thank you to Northeastern State and Cherokee Hills Golf Club for hosting this event. Also, thank you to the students, parents, friends, and many others who came out to make this feel like a home event for us! It meant the world to our players. It is always a great day to be a Hillcat and we are proud to represent.”
Lydia Sitorus led the Hillcats with a four-way tie for fourth place after shooting 146 (+6) over 36 holes. The sophomore sank four birdies in the tournament. Raquel Flores finished in a four-way tie for ninth with a card of 149 (+9), including finishing the final round with an even par 70. Ellen Loving finished in a tie for 26th with a 156 (+16). Jaelynn Ungur finished in three-way tie for 33rd with a 159 (+19). Marelda Ayal rounded out the group in a tie for 48th after shooting 164 (+24).
Southwestern Oklahom State placed seventh, Oklahoma Baptist eighth and Southern Nazarene ninth. Rebecca Lau of SWOSU finished tied for ninth at 149 (75-74).