WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – It’s not a conference title just yet, but Head Coach Erika Danford managed to coach her team to their best-ever finish in the 2009 Sunshine State Conference Golf Championships played at the Lake Region Yacht & Country Club and hosted by Florida Southern College.
The Lions, who shot a tournament total 332-327-332—991 to finish sixth, maintained that slot throughout the entire tournament as the top five schools pulled away early while the two teams behind SLU were nowhere near catching the Green & Gold.
Anna Riss, as she did last season, again led the Lions through the tournament with her 82-76-83—241 to put her in 25th overall. She was followed closely by freshman Goeun Lee who finished two spots behind Riss in 27th with an 83-79-82—244.
Tricia Maloney wound up 30th with her three-round 83-82-82—247 and Kristina Carvalho finished in 33rd after posted an 84-90-85—259.
Senior Meghan Costello (90-93-89—272) rounded out the Lions’ lineup with a 36th place finish.
As far as the rest of the field, third-ranked Rollins won the team title by seven shots over top-ranked Nova Southeastern as individuals from both schools were involved in a 3-way playoff for medalist honors at the Sunshine State Conference Tournament.
Rollins began the final round with a nine-stroke lead over Lynn, but the Knights started to fall behind even further early in the day. Starting on the back nine, Lynn played the par-five #13 hole at five-over while the Tars were even. Rollins went on to count scores of 75, 76, 76 and 77, but Lynn’s best counter was a 77.
Nova Southeastern was 18 strokes behind at the start of the day, but the Sharks made things interesting by shooting a team score of 293, that included a three-under par 69 by Maria Garcia Austt. The Tars had too much of a cushion though, and all the Sharks could do was finish seven strokes behind them in second place.
Host Florida Southern, ranked #2 in the country, finished in fourth place with a score of 935. The Moccasins played well in the middle round of the tournament with a 303, but they had scores of 316 in the other two rounds. They had to count a pair of 81’s on Tuesday, while Heather Burgner led the team with a 75.
Up next for several of the teams in the SSC Tournament will be the NCAA Division II South Regional, May 3-5 at Howey-In-The-Hills, Fla.