Seahawks Rally To Claim Third CAA Title
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
PINEHURST, North Carolina - The UNCW women's golf team combined for a tournament-low 299 in the final round to erase a three-stroke deficit and claim the 2011 Colonial Athletic Association Women's Golf Championship Sunday on the No. 6 Course of the Pinehurst Resort.
The victory gives the Seahawks their third CAA crown in five seasons (2007, 2008) and their sixth conference title in program history (2002, 2003, 2004 - Big South). UNCW also receives the league's at-large bid to the NCAA Women's Golf Regionals, scheduled for May 5-7 in Daytona Beach, Fla. (East), South Bend, Ind. (Central) and Seattle, Wash. (West). The team will learn its regional destination Monday during the NCAA selection teleconference.
"We are ecstatic that we were able to overcome a three-stroke deficit and capture our third Colonial Athletic Association Championship today," said UNCW Head Coach Cindy Ho. "The girls showed a lot of heart, trust in themselves and their teammates and patience under pressure-filled circumstances in winning the title. I could not more proud of them and am extremely happy that we will get an opportunity to continue playing and to represent the CAA in the NCAA Women's Golf Regionals."
The Seahawks used a balanced effort in Sunday's final round as freshman Jeanne Metivier paced the team with a two-over-par 74 while junior Sofia Hagsund and freshmen Lori Beth Adams and Laverry Kumar all finished at three-over-par 75 to give UNCW a tournament total of 917 (312-306-299), five shots ahead of two-time defending champion Georgia State (307-310-305). Second-round leader Xavier slipped to third with a 54-hole total of 925 (313-302-310).
"We talked about playing the course and not worrying about what the other teams were doing as it was anybody's championship heading into the final round," said Ho. "We started off great on the front nine as we had all week and we were able to use that to our advantage on the back nine as we had tried to finish out strong. The finishing holes at Pinehurst are tough, but the girls were able to make some critical putts and put us in a position to win."
Metivier capped a sensational debut in the Seahawks lineup as she ended the championship in a tie with Richmond's Jillian Fraccola for fifth place at 11-over-par 227 (74-79-74). Hagsund (75-78-75=228) and Kumar (80-73-75=228) finished one shot back of Metivier in a three-way tie for seventh while Adams (83-76-75=234/T-16th) and senior Cristina Manrique (87-80-85/252/T-40th) rounded out the Seahawks entry.
"I am so proud of Jeanne and her performance this week as she really carried us in the championship," said Ho. "Jeanne is not a long hitter, but she has improved her distance off the tee as the season has gone on and that showed this week. She is also very accurate with her irons and her hybrids and that was a key factor in her outstanding performance."
Georgia State's Charlotte Guilleux posted the only even-par round of the tournament Sunday and claimed individual medalist honors with a six-over-par total of 222 (75-75-72), edging James Madison's Nicole Sakamoto (76-74-73=223) and Ginger Mak (77-73-74) by one stroke and two strokes, respectively. William and Mary's Caroline Sweet, the second-round leader, took fourth after a final round 78 moved her to 10-over-par 226 (73-75-78) for the championship.