Western Carolina traveled to Myrtle Beach to capture the Green Course Championship Unlimited Potential/Baytree Classic in their first competition of the season.
The Lady Catamounts rewrote school record books with an all-time low 54-hole score of 973. The team’s opening round of 330 placed them in third place, four shots behind Bucknell, before they made a charge on the final two days to run away from the field.
The second-round effort of 322 was the low score of the day and gave WCU a nine shot lead heading into the final round. The squad then put the tournament away with a 321 total on the final day, clinching the title by 14 strokes.
Head coach Steve Lott explained the team’s steady improvement through the tournament with their relative inexperience, stating the players began to feel more comfortable as the event progressed.
“They learned the course a little better, but also there were three players in their first ever college event,” he said. “I think it was easier for them as the week went on.”
Sophomore Rebecca Twiner, who won the Wild Wing State Farm Collegiate Players Tournament over the summer, led the Lady Cats and placed second in the field with a three-day total of 235 (80-79-76), ranking her performance as the second most prolific in WCU history. The Crystal River, FL, native set the school mark for scoring average last season as a freshman and is the team captain.
Meanwhile, the foreign freshman tandem of Swede Johanna Lundberg and Dane Line Cordes finished 8th and 11th overall with scores of 240 and 245, respectively.
Lott was not too surprised by the performance of his overseas recruits, describing both players as fit for college-level competition.
“I think they’re both very seasoned,” he said. “They’re not like a player right out of high school, they’ve both played in some pretty big events.”
Lundberg, in fact, kicked off the season unofficially with a victory in the team’s intrasquad Judaculla Cup. She fired rounds of 75 and 73 at Waynesville Country Club to beat out Cordes by two shots and Twiner by seven.
Senior Mary Faulk followed with a 253, strong enough for 32nd in the field, while freshman Meredith Beck tallied a 279 en route to 65th place.
Among the thirteen competitors, the Lady Cats caught a glimpse of Southern Conference competition in their first match, facing three league foes in the event. East Tennessee State finished the weekend in third place, 15 shots back of Western.
Appalachain State and Wofford both finished over 30 shots back of WCU, placing in the ninth and 11th positions.
The Lady Cats will finish up competition today at the Radford Draper Valley Highlander in Radford, VA. Next week, they will travel to Goodlettsville, TN, for the Belmont invitational.