Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. – The Transylvania women's golf team culminated its greatest season in program history by finishing in 15th place at the 2018 NCAA Division III Women's Golf Championships at the Mission Inn Resort on Friday afternoon as the Pioneers completed the fourth and final round of play.
After making the 54-hole cut in Thursday's third round, the Pioneers finished off their second NCAA Tournament appearance and its first in nine years with a four-round score of 1363.
After finishing in 20th place out of 21 teams in their lone NCAA championship appearance nine years ago, Friday's finish certified the best performance by a Transylvania women's golf team at an NCAA Tournament.
Transylvania turned in a fourth-round score of 364 to finish off the challenging El Campeon course at Mission Inn.
It was a feeling of accomplishment and excitement for the future in the clubhouse on Friday for the Pioneers, who made a quick ascent to the NCAA Tournament under third-year head coach Tyrus York. After qualifying for their first NCAA Tournament in nine years by winning the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament last fall, the Pioneers made the most of their trip to the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
"This has been a fantastic week for Transylvania women's golf. Finishing in the top 15 in the country is huge when just two short years ago, we were ranked outside the top 100," reflected York following the final round. "We look forward to learning from this experience and hopefully returning next year with the goal of winning a national championship."
The Pioneers began the day in 14th place on the team leaderboard entering the final round, but had to forge on without their individual leaderboard topper after three rounds, junior Meredith Moir, who was unable to continue after three rounds with a justified withdrawal. "Meredith has been a rock ever since she arrived and this week was no exception," shared York. "I hope she knows how proud I am of her performance this week and I know she'll only continue to grow and improve for her senior year."
Sophomore Rachel Fine led the way on Friday, shooting an eight-over par 81 to finish with a four-round score of 325. Fine's score placed the sophomore in a tie for 34th place on the individual leaderboard out of the 81 individuals who made the cut. Fine powered through the day, holing 10 pars and one birdie. "As Rachel's confidence continues to grow, she has become more and more of a force on this team and in our conference," said York. "Closing out the regular season with a win was huge and her steady play this week really helped anchor us."
Fine's twin sister, Rebecca completed her four-round trek with an 89 to finish with a four-round 351. "Rebecca continues to improve in every aspect of the game and it is only a matter of time before she puts it all together," York added. "I'm very excited to see what another summer of playing and learning the game will do for her as she prepares for her junior year."
Sophomore Lexie Lamar carded a 96 on Thursday to finish with a four-day 356 while Junior Jenna Soderling carded a 98 to finish with a 361. "Jenna's one of the hardest workers on our team and I know that if she continues to work, she will achieve great things and have a special senior season," York said. "Lexie has done nothing but improve since she got here and I know her best golf is yet to come. Her solid first round was what pushed us through the cut line, giving us the opportunity to play on the final day."
The showing at the national championships caps off a memorable and successful season that witnessed Moir win her second consecutive HCAC Most Valuable Player award, York being named HCAC Coach of the Year for women's golf, and Moir, Rachel Fine, Rebecca Fine, and Lamar all being named to the All-ORLC team in addition to a team conference title and an NCAA Tournament berth.
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