PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – A dramatic victory over top-ranked Barry University lifted the Southwestern Oklahoma State women’s golf team team into the national semifinals, where it gave #5 Florida Tech a battle before being eliminated in the second round of match play at the NCAA Division II Women’s Golf Championships on Friday.
The Lady Bulldogs historic postseason runs ends as the program’s deepest tournament run as an NCAA Division II institution and the second-best national tournament finish behind a tie as the runner-up at the 1998 NAIA Championships.
SWOSU opened the medal match play format against Barry, the #1-ranked team in NCAA Division II entering the postseason. All five individual matches were contested within three strokes and the match was tied at 2-2 after Chloe Thackeray and Gloria Choi earned one-shot victories while Jenna Eidem fell by two strokes to Buccaneer All-American Tilda Larssen and Veronika de Bochdanovits was upended by one shot. The deciding match came down to senior Elin Wahlin, who broke a tie with five holes to go and pulled away for a three-shot victory to put her team in the Final Four.
Following a brief lunch break and setting of lineups, the Lady Dawgs ventured back on to the course to take on Florida Tech, the team that won the stroke play portion of the Championships on Thursday. Thackeray and Wahlin never trailed in their matches, while Choi and Eidem were tied for a combined 10 holes but unable to ever take the lead in their respective battles. The match was decided by de Bochdanovits matchup, which she led by three shots on the back nine and was tied with three holes to go before FIT’s Noelle Beijer pulled away to win by two shots.
“These past two weeks have been the most memorable of my coaching career,” SWOSU coach Brad Fleetwood said. “What these ladies have accomplished is unbelievable and I could not be more proud of them for the way they represented themselves and SWOSU at the National Championships. This week, they were as good as anybody in the nation.”
SWOSU ends its second all-time appearance in the NCAA Division II Women’s Golf Championships with the program’s best finish at the tournament and their first appearance in the Match Play portion. The Lady Bulldogs will bid farewell to the decorated class that has formed the core of the program for the past four years as Choi, Eidem, Thackeray and Wahlin all got to complete their careers by playing on the biggest stage in Division II Women’s Golf.
Match Play, Friday, May 17
Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. (PGA National – Champions Course)
National Quarterfinal – Results
(5) SWOSU def. (4) #1 Barry, 3-2
Chloe Thackeray def. Alice Gotbring by 1 stroke
Gloria Choi def. Noemie Pare by 1 stroke
Tilda Larsson def. Jenna Eidem by 2 strokes
Josefina Foa Torres def. Veronika de Bochdanovits by 1 stroke
Elin Wahlin def. Lauren Grinberg by 3 strokes
National Semifinal – Results
(1) #5 Florida Tech def. (5) SWOSU, 3-2
Chloe Thackeray def. Megan Dennis by 4 strokes
Lauren Watson def. Gloria Choi by 1 stroke
Lucy Eaton def. Jenna Eidem by 2 strokes
Noelle Beijer def. Veronika de Bochdanovits by 2 strokes
Elin Wahlin def. Paola Ortiz by 5 strokes