UMHB golf team sixth in nation
Monday, 04 June 2012 by Keith Bahlmann
The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor women's golf team met their goal of shooting four rounds under the team score of 320 and closed the NCAA Division III National Championships by carding a final-round 318 on Friday in Angola, Indiana. The Cru women finished in sixth place overall, slipping one spot after holding down a top five spot following the second and third rounds. UMHB was led by freshman Kristen Cain's 77 on Friday. Victoria Thane posted her fourth score of the tournament in the 70s; firing a 79; which was matched by Kelly Gonyea. Taylor O'Rear shot 83 in the final round, and Sara Eckert shot 87.
Methodist University captures their 15th straight national title shooting 310 on the final day for a tournament total of 1242 and a six-stroke victory. The team runner up was DePauw University with a four day total of 1248. The third place team was Wisconsin-Eau Claire at 1255. Centre College fired a 306 in the final round to secure fourth place with a total of 1256. Williams College finished with a four round total of 1265, good for fifth place. UMHB slipped into 6th place with a four round total of 1267, just two strokes behind Williams. The Cru fired rounds of 317, 315, 317 and 318 over the four days of the tournament. George Fox University (1269) took seventh place, Illinois Wesleyan claimed eighth place with a 1274 and St. Olaf and Allegheny tied for ninth place with 1277's. A 19-team field competed in the tournament, along with six individuals.
Victoria Thane posted the low tournament total for the Cru women with four scores in the 70s: 79-77-78-79=313 and finished in a tie for 20th. Kristen Cain (78-80-81-77) and Kelly Gonyea (80-77-80-79) tied for 28th with 316 totals. ASC Champion Taylor O'Rear finished with an 80-81-78-83=322 to tie for 46th; and Sara Eckert tied for 77th with 83-85-81-87=336.
Winning the individual title was Catherine Wagner from Wisconsin-Eau Claire who shot a final round 77 to post a tournament total of 302 and win by one stroke. Tied for second at 303 were Emily Bachert of Centre College, Sarah Paulson of Central College and Molly Erickson of St. Olaf College. Mount Union's Mary Snode rounded out the top five individuals at 305.
"It would have taken a great round to move up into the top four, but I am so proud of them," Cru head coach Darla Kirby said. "They battled the whole week and I think we learned a lot. We can hopefully earn a chance to come back next year and play a little bit better. The girls have a lot of confidence and are learning to play under pressure; and there is no pressure greater than competing at the national tournament."
The four-day, 72-hole event was played on the par 72, 5,990-yard layout at Zollner Golf Course on the campus of Trine University. This is UMHB women's second straight appearance in the NCAA DIII Championship and their eighth overall NCAA postseason appearance. The Cru posted its best national tournament finish this year since taking second place in 2005 to close out a stretch of four straight runner-up finishes.