ANGOLA, Ind. – With four players shooting sub-80 rounds, the George Fox University Bruins tied Centre College for the best round of the day and of the entire tournament with an 18-over-par 306 and finished seventh as a team as the NCAA Division III Women’s Golf National Championship concluded Friday here at the Zollner Golf Course.
George Fox completed play with a total score of 318-329-316-306=1,269, which included the Bruins’ three best daily rounds and best combined score in three appearances in the NCAA nationals. Entering the final day tied for ninth with St. Olaf College, the Bruins were able to catch and pass Allegheny College and Illinois Wesleyan University to place seventh, five slots higher than last year’s 12th-place windup and one position better than the eighth-place showing in their first post-season opportunity in 2010.
Making up the Bruins’ 306 on Friday on the par-72, 5,990-yard course on the campus of Trine University were Kelsey Morrison with a three-over-par 75, Abby Mann with a 76, Loreece Magsanide with a 77, and Megan McGrew with a 78. Rounding out the George Fox quintet was Jill Westendorf with an 85.
Collectively, the Bruins picked up 10 birdies on their record-setting day, with each player earning at least one, while only hitting eight double bogeys. Morrison led with way her best score of the week, hitting 12 pars with a birdie-3 on the 15th hole and a birdie-4 on the 18th. Mann tied her tournament best by posting 11 pars with birdie-3’s on No. 4 and No. 16.
Magsanide also saved her best for last by scoring seven pars and four birdies, with 3’s on Nos. 3, 15, and 16, and a 4 on No. 5. McGrew carded 10 pars and a birdie-4 on the fifth hole, while Westendorf had eight pars and a birdie-3 on No. 3.
In the final individual standings, Morrison tied for 14th (77-82-77-75=311), Mann tied for 32nd (79-86-76-76=317), McGrew tied for 42nd (80-77-86-78=321), Magsanide tied for 53rd (82-87-79-77=325), and Westendorf tied for 81st (85-84-84-85=338).
“I was really pleased with how the team played this week,” summarized Bruins coach MaryJo McCloskey. “We had some tough draws with tee times and windy conditions, but the team never made any excuses. Today, for our final round, we felt pretty exhausted getting up really early once again (3 a.m. Pacific time!), but we accepted the challenge and shot our best one-day score of the tournament. That 306 ended up tying with one other school for the lowest round of the entire tournament, which was a thrilling way to finish!”
Methodist earned its 15th straight team title (310-310-312-310=1,242), six strokes ahead of DePauw (314-307-313-314=1,248). The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (315-307-320-313=1,255) took third, followed by Centre (317-319-314-306=1,256), Williams College (307-323-309-326=1,265), the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (317-315-317-318=1,267), and George Fox.
Catherine Wagner of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, who led after three rounds, hung onto medalist honors with a 78-71-76-77=302, one shot ahead of three runner-ups: Emily Bachert of Centre (76-76-74-77=303), Molly Erickson of St. Olaf (76-76-75-76=303), Sarah Paulson from Central College of Iowa (77-77-76-73=303). Fifth went to Mary Snode of the University of Mount Union (79-75-77-74=305).
Whitney Miller of Centre and Kelsi Sawatzky of Wartburg College had the day’s best individual scores, each with an even-par 72, while Maggie Lattery of Wisconsin-Eau Claire had a hole-in-one on the par-3 17th hole, joining Emily Guthrie of Whitworth University, a Northwest Conference school along with George Fox, and Victoria Thane of Mary Hardin-Baylor with holes-in-one in the tournament. Guthrie and Thane each aced the par-3 sixth hole.
Whitman College, which shared the 2011-12 NWC co-championship with George Fox, finished 12th with a 316-333-321-320=1,290 final score. Guthrie, one of six individuals invited to compete, tied for 20th with an 80-76-79-78=313.
To view all final statistics as provided by Golfstat.com, visit the official NCAA Tournament website at http://www.ncaa.com/content/diii-women-team-leaderboard.