GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG women’s golf team posted a new program-record scored for 54-holes as the Spartans fired an 874 team total at the Pinehurst Challenge hosted by the College of Charleston at Pinehurst No. 1 Tuesday. The Spartans finished ninth overall in the field, marking their fourth-straight top-10 finish to open the season, the longest stretch since 2012 for the program.
The Spartans finished at 10-over par 874 for the two-day, 54-hole event, setting a new program-record surpassing the previous mark of 875 in the 2011-12 campaign at the Palmetto Intercollegiate. UNCG opened the tournament with a 297 and 290 in the first two rounds before tying the program-record with a 287 in round three Tuesday. The 287 ties the Spartans’ mark from earlier this year at the Jim West Challenge and the 1-under par score for the team is the first time in program-history UNCG has been under par as a team.
Sophomore Louisa Tichy (Germering, Germany) was the catalyst for the Spartans, finishing tied for 12th overall with a 2-under par 214 score. Tichy’s 214 score and 12th place finish are both career-bests, surpassing her 13th place showing and 219 score at the Ptarmigan Ram Classic earlier this fall. Her score of 214 is tied for the third-lowest 54-hole score in UNCG women’s golf history.
Tichy opened her week with a 2-over par 74 in round one before carding back-to-back rounds of 2-under par 70. She tallied 10 pars, three bogeys and five birdies in the final round Tuesday, including three birdies in her last six holes. She finished first in the entire field in par-3 scoring at 2-under par and was second in the 100-golfer field with 14 total birdies in 54-holes.
“After coming off the tournament last week, I just wanted to keep it simple this week,” Tichy said. “I hit a lot of fairways and greens while making the putts I needed to make. I am excited to finally have a tournament under par individually and a round under par as a team. We are making big strides this year and I cannot wait to see what the rest of the season holds.”
Freshmen Tara Bettle (Hohen Neuendorf, Germany) and Keri Kenkel (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic) both finished tied for 36th place overall at 4-over par 220. Bettle opened her week with a 6-over par 78 in round one before closing with rounds of 70-72 in her last two rounds. Tuesday, she carded three birdies, three bogeys and 12 par scores in the even round of golf. She finished fifth in the field in par-4 scoring at even-par.
Kenkel opened the week with a 1-over par 73 in round one and a 3-over par 75 in round two. She closed out the week with an even-par 72 Tuesday, recording 14 pars, one bogey, one double bogey and a birdie. The highlight of her third round came on the par-5 401-yard hole No. 2 when she carded an eagle-3. She finished fourth in the field in par-3 scoring at 1-under par and was seventh in the entire field with 38 par scores.
“I can’t explain how excited I am for our team about this amazing finish,” Kenkel said. “This tournament proves how hard we have been working and it was great to get our fourth top-10 finish in a row. I played really well this week and it was exciting to be able to contribute to our team’s new record score.”
Sophomore Kendall Dobbins (Summerfield, N.C./Northern Guilford) placed 53rd overall with a 7-over par 223. Dobbins posted back-to-back rounds of 3-over par 75 in the first two rounds Monday before coming back with a 1-over par 73 Tuesday. She recorded four birdies, five bogeys and nine par scores in the final round.
Junior Natalia Asensio (Madrid, Spain/Cardenal Spinola) rounded out the starting lineup in 84th place with an 18-over par 234, notching rounds of 75-76-83. Freshman Sara Rydman (Taby, Sweden) played as an individual and posted rounds of 74-78 Monday before withdrawing Tuesday.
East Carolina won the team event with a 17-under par 847 scored (289-277-281), winning by eight strokes over Coastal Carolina at 9-under par 855 (285-282-288). Valentina Giraldo of Jacksonville State pulled out a one-stroke individual win with an 8-under par 208 (68-68-72) over Malene Krolboll Hansen of Coastal Carolina at 7-under par 209 (68-67-74).
The Pinehurst Challenge consisted of 19 teams including the Spartans, College of Charleston, Charleston Southern, Coastal Carolina, East Carolina, Elon, Georgia State, Jacksonville, Jacksonville State, James Madison, Maryland, Nebraska, North Florida, Old Dominion, Presbyterian, Samford, Towson, UAB and William & Mary.
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