WCU Women’s Golf Team comes from behind to win SoCon Championship

The Western Carolina women’s golf team rallied from five strokes behind on April 17 to win the 2007 Southern Conference Championship at Patriots Point Golf Links in Mount Pleasant, S.C. The Lady Catamounts beat out Furman and the College of Charleston en route to their second conference championship in school history and first since 2003. WCU shot a 312 on day one and sat in second place overall behind the College of Charleston, but on day two the Lady Cats shaved off 20 strokes to finish with a 292 and an overall two-day score of 604. The score was good enough to win by four strokes over the College of Charleston and Furman, who both finished tied for second with 608. The victory gives the Lady Cats an automatic bid into the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships. “A lot of people doubted whether or not this team could win the conference, but they really pulled together and shot lights out today in less than desirable conditions,” said Western’s head coach Steve Lott. WCU was led in the tremendous come-from-behind effort by juniors Kandy Carland, Malin Fryk, and freshman Desiree Karlsson. After shooting an opening day 77, Carland bounced back and fired an outstanding 71 on the second day at the 6,044-yard course. The 148 score tied Carland for first place with Blair Lamb of Furman. A playoff ensued and after shooting par on hole one, Carland shot a bogey on hole two to give the individual title to Lamb. Carland’s second-place finish gave her a new personal high mark in the SoCon Championships as she finished tied for fifth last year. Only one stroke behind was Fryk who tied for third place in the tournament with a score of 149. After opening with a 79, Fryk bounced back and shot the lowest score on Tuesday, 70. Fryk also set a new personal SoCon Championship mark as she finished tied for fifth last year as well. Karlsson shot a 151 to finish only three strokes behind Carland, and in a tie for seventh place. After leading the first round with a 76, Karlsson cut a stroke off in the second round to shoot a 75. Karlsson became the third Catamount all time to win the SoCon Freshman of the Year (Line Cordes ’02, Brandy Anderson ’03) and should challenge for future SoCon individual titles. Western had a league-high three named to the All-SoCon team as Carland, Fryk, and Karlsson garnered the honor. Carland and Fryk were also named to the 2007 All-SoCon Tournament team. Western’s tournament total of 604 was tied for the ninth-lowest two-day score in school history. The final round score of 292 tied for the fifth-lowest round in school history, while also placing second all-time in Western’s lowest Southern Conference rounds. The lowest Southern Conference Championship round in school history came last year when the Lady Cats fired a 291 in the second round to finish in second place behind College of Charleston. Rounding out the finishers for Western was senior Bianca Melone and freshman Elin Mickelsson. Melone and Mickelsson finished tied for 18th place with a score of 158. Melone improved two strokes from day one to day two as she shot 80 and 78, while Mickelsson improved six strokes with an 82 and 76. The Lady Cats will learn on April 30 where they will be playing at in the NCAA Regional Championships. The NCAA regional championships will be May 10-12.