Bluffton, Ohio – The Transylvania women's golf team will take aim at their third straight conference championship this weekend for the 2019 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Women's Golf Championships at Bluffton Golf Course.
The Pioneers will compete against a field of nine other teams from around the conference for a two-round event on Saturday October, 12 – Sunday October, 13 at this year's conference championships, hosted by HCAC member Bluffton University.
Transylvania enters this year's conference tournament as the two-time defending conference champions, the first time in program history the Pioneers have earned that designation.
The HCAC Tournament represents the final event of the fall portion of the 2019-20 season for the Pioneers and concurrently stands as the most important tournament of the season; the winner of this weekend's HCAC Championships will be awarded the conference's automatic bid into the 2020 NCAA Division III Women's Golf National Championships to be held next May at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
Over the past two seasons, the Pioneers have pounced upon the automatic berth and now seek that goal once again for the third straight season as they embark upon the links at Bluffton Golf Course.
This weekend's tournament will mark the second time the Pioneers have journeyed to Bluffton Golf Course in three weeks after last competing there for the 36-hole HCAC Preview tournament on September 21 and 22. The Pioneers finished as the runner-up in that tournament to Rose-Hulman by 11 strokes as the preview tournament offered all competing HCAC teams their first look at this weekend's championship course.
Round one of the HCAC Championships is scheduled to tee off at approximately 10 a.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. in Sunday's final round. Fans can follow live scoring throughout the tournament via the Golfstat website.
Transylvania fields a mixture of veterans and youth for the 2019 edition of the conference championships.
Senior Lexie Lamar leads the Pioneers into the 2019 conference championships after finishing in first place in each of her last two tournaments. Lamar most recently finished as the medalist at the Rumble at Rising Star in the final week of September and finished in a first-place tie after 36 holes with Rose-Hulman's Rachel Zhang at the HCAC Preview in the prior weekend. Lamar paces the Pioneers this season with a 79.56 stroke average.
Lamar is joined by senior Rachel Fine, the reigning HCAC Most Valuable Player. Fine enters this year's HCAC Championships as the reigning individual champion. At last year's HCAC Championships at Liberty Country Club in Liberty, Indiana, Fine shot a two-round score of 154 to win by two strokes over then senior teammate, Meredith Moir. The Pioneers boast the last three individual HCAC champions entering this year's conference tournament.
Fine is joined by her twin sister, Rebecca, who along with Rachel and Lamar, prepare to compete in their final HCAC Championship appearances. Rebecca Fine's best performance of the season came at the HCAC Preview, held on the same course as this weekend's tournament. At the HCAC Preview, Fine finished in a tie for 12th place on the individual leaderboard with a two-round 167.
Sophomore Kelli Harpe prepares for her first HCAC Championship appearance as a member of Transylvania's five-person team and is joined by freshman Grace Chilton, who recorded her lowest-round score of the season at the HCAC Preview.
The Pioneers are led by fourth-year head coach Tyrus York, a two-time reigning HCAC Coach of the Year for women's golf.
Since joining the HCAC for women's golf, the Pioneers have captured the conference championship three different times in all (2018, 2017, 2008).
For more on Transylvania women's golf, follow @Transy_WGolf on Twitter