By Placing Three Players in Tournament’s Top Ten, Catamounts Grab Title
By Kaitlyn Mullis
The Western Carolina women’s golf team captured the team title at the tenth-annual Great Smokies Intercollegiate Tournament on Tuesday, Sept. 16. It was their sixth ever team tournament title and their first since 2006. The tournament began on Sunday, Sept. 14 and wrapped up Tuesday, Sept. 16.
The team showed great promise during the opening round Monday, Sept. 15 by breaking a three-year-old tournament single-round scoring record by two strokes, scoring a 284. Leading the team on Monday were freshman Blaire Minter, who shot 30 on the back nine and 37 on the front for a two-under-par score of 70. Junior Desiree Karlsson tied Minter’s score of 70 and junior Elin Mickelsson followed with a score of 71. All three golfers stood in the top ten at the end of the day, with Minter and Karlsson tied for fourth and Mickelsson tied for eighth place.
Tuesday’s championship round opened with overcast skies, cool temperatures and the threat of rain, but the tournament finished without delay as WCU continued posting successful tournament scores.
Western junior Mickelsson and freshman Blaire Minter finished the tournament in a three-way tie for fourth with Samford’s Katelyn Stamier, with a final score of 142. Also finishing in the top ten for the Catamounts was junior Desiree Karlsson, who tied for seventh with a two-day total of 143. Freshman Rachel Nelson and sophomore Josefine Sundh had strong scores for WCU, rounding out the top finishers for the team.
Placing in first was Lorie Worren of Belmont College with a score of 69 for the first round and a total score of 138. One stroke behind, in second place, was Wofford’s Sarah Hurt. In third place was Tennessee Tech’s Dianna Carson, scoring 141.
Western Carolina finished the tournament in first place with a score of 578. Conference member Wofford proved to be the challenger of the tournament to the Lady Catamounts, who have won this tournament six times out of the past seven years. Wofford scored 583 to place second.
The total team score of 578 ranked as the second-lowest round in tournament history, two strokes off the all-time record of 576 shot in 2005 by WCU, a record that won the championship title.
Western Carolina and Wofford were followed by two-time champion, Tennessee Tech, who posted a total score of 586 to place third. Samford finished fourth, two strokes back at 588, with Winthrop scoring 589 to finish fifth.
WCU is off to its best start since the 2004-2005 season with a runner-up finish in the Draper Valley Intercollegiate Tournament on Sept. 9 and the win in the Great Smokies Intercollegiate Tournament. The team returns to action on Oct. 11-14 at UNC Greensboro’s Starmount Fall Classic, being held at the Starmount Forrest Country Club in Greensboro, NC.