No. 16 UNCP Captures Second-Straight Team Championship
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – UNCP sophomore Dana Watkins took home medalist honors while the No. 16 Lady Braves golf team placed three golfers in the top three overall en route to claiming the team championship at the Tusculum Fall Classic on Tuesday at the Link Hills Country Club in Greeneville, Tenn.
The Lady Braves broke the 18 and 36-hole school records with a 295 and 598, respectively. UNCP's second-round score topped the previous 18-hole school record of 297 and the two-round score of 599 that were both set at the Patsy Rendleman Invitational on Oct. 18-19, 2010.
UNCP's second-round score sets a new 18-hole and second round record, edging the previous mark of 296 set by Belmont Abbey in last year's tournament. The 598 also breaks the record held by Belmont Abbey (602) in the 2010 Classic and the Lady Braves became the first team in the six-year history of the tournament to shoot below 600 for two rounds.
"Being behind two shots to a team on their home course is a challenge," said UNCP head coach David Synan. "The girls really stepped up and showed what we are capable of as a group."
The Lady Braves now have two wins in two tournaments this season and have won seven of their last eight events dating back to last season. With Watkins' medalist honors, UNCP has also had the top individual finisher in six of its last nine tournaments.
Watkins tied teammate Shauna Walor with a tournament-best 72 during the second round, but a one-stroke advantage over her teammate after the first day gave the Clayton native the first individual title of her career. The 2011 Peach Belt Conference Freshman of the year trailed host Tusculum's Jillian Corum by one stroke after the first round, but her even-par second round gave her the individual title.
"Dana Watkins is a warrior," added Synan. "She is a true champion that dealt with a bad back and played her heart out. I could not be happier or more proud."
Junior Meghan Moore joined Watkins and Walor on the All-Tournament Team after she shaved two strokes off her opening-round score with a second-round 74 to finish in a tie for third overall with Katie Thackerson of Lenoir-Rhyne.
Sophomore Kelly Sumner lowered her score by one stroke (77) during the second round to finish in a tie for eighth overall and fellow sophomore Lizzie Bundy matched Sumner on the second round which gave her the second top-15 finish in two UNCP career events.
Junior Abby Shipley, competing as an individual, recorded her third career top-25 finish after finishing tied for 25th with scores of 83 and 81.
The Lady Braves will next be in action on Oct. 3-4 at the Myrtle Beach Intercollegiate in Sunset Beach, N.C.
1. UNC Pembroke 303 295 598 +22
2. Lincoln Memorial 314 309 623 +47
3. Tusculum 301 327 628 +52
4. Catawba 327 320 647 +71
5. Lenoir-Rhyne 338 325 663 +87
6. Limestone 332 332 664 +88
T-7. Coker 338 340 678 +102
T-7. King 340 338 678 +102
9. North Greenville 340 344 684 +108
10. Mars Hill 364 350 714 +138
11. Spartanburg Methodist 359 366 725 +149
12. Brevard 355 374 729 +153
1. Dana Watkins 74 72 146
2. Shauna Walor 75 72 147
T-3. Meghan Moore 76 74 150
T-8. Kelly Sumner 78 77 155
15. Lizzie Bundy 82 77 159
T-25. Abby Shipley 83 81 164
2011 Tusculum Fall Classic All-Tournament Team
L-R: Meghan Moore (UNCP), Desta Coaker (Lees-McRae), Medalist Winner Dana Watkins (UNCP)
Katie Thackerson (Lenoir-Rhyne) and Shauna Walor (UNCP)