Rollins Rolls to Division II National Title
HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS, Fla. -- The Rollins College women's golf team fired their best round of the four-day tournament, a 305, to finish 39 strokes ahead of runner-up Florida Southern and claim the 2003 NCAA Division II Women's Golf Championship. Freshman Charlotte Campbell (Lake Highland Prep) fired a final round score of 2-under par 71 to claim the individual national championship by four strokes. Her four round score of 299 (78-74-76-71) established a new Division II record for the lowest total by the individual champion.
The Tars finished the four round tournament with a team total of 1,237 (315-307-310-305), compared with a score of 1,276 (325-326-313-312) for Florida Southern. The victory by Rollins ended the Mocs three year reign as Division II team champion. Northern Colorado finished third with a score of 1,312 (322-339-331-320).
Rollins took control of the tournament in the first two days as they held a seven stroke lead over Northern Colorado after the first day and led second place Florida Southern by 29 strokes after the first two rounds.
Campbell, who was named the NCAA Division II National Player of the Year earlier in the week, matched the NCAA Division II tournament record for the lowest individual round with her 2-under par 71. She had four birdies and only two bogeys during the final round. She had entered the final round trailing Pamela Feggans of Florida Southern and Freddie Seeholzer of Rollins by one stroke in the battle for the individual championship. Feggans had a final round 76 to finish with a score of 303 (80-76-71-76) for the tournament. Seeholzer shot a final round score of 80 to finish tied with Emily Russell of Northern Colorado for third place at 307 (78-74-75-80).
Mariana De Biase of Rollins fired a final round score of 74 to finish in eighth position at 314 (81-80-79-74). Sabrina Gassner finished in 12th position at 322 (78-79-82-83). Jennifer Beames, the only senior on the Rollins team, overcame a tough first round to finish tied for 17th position at 330 (89-81-80-80).
The championship is the eighth in the history of women's golf at Rollins, but the first since the NCAA began sponsoring the championship in 1996. Since that time, Rollins had finished second three times (1996, 2000 and 2001). The last two second-place finishes had come at the hands of Florida Southern. When sponsored by the AIAW and then the NCGA, Rollins won the championship in 1948, 1950, 1956, 1974, 1991, 1992 and 1994.
This is the 17th national championship in the history of intercollegiate athletics at Rollins college and the seventh NCAA Championship. In addition to NCAA Championships by men's tennis (four times), men's golf (twice) and now women's golf, Rollins has won three National Collegiate Waterski Championships and claimed seven women's golf championships before the event was sponsored by the NCAA.
Earlier in the week, Campbell was named the NCAA Division II 'Freshman of the Year' as well as the 'Player of the Year.' Head Coach Julie Garner was named the Division II National 'Coach of the Year.' Campbell, Jennifer Beames and Mariana De Biase were honored as first team All-Americans, while Freddie Seeholzer was a second team All-America selection.
2003 NCAA DIVISION II WOMENS CHAMPIONSHIP
Mission Inn Resort
El Campeon Course
Saturday, May 17, 2003
par 73, 5982 yards
FINAL TEAM RESULTS
1 Rollins College 315 307 310 305 1237 +692
Florida Southern 325 326 313 312 1276 +1083
Northern Colorado 322 339 331 320 1312 +1444
Grand Valley State 332 332 332 325 1321 +1535
Longwood University 336 343 318 327 1324 +1566
St. Mary's U. (TX) 341 332 331 331 1335 +1677
Minnesota State Univ 335 337 323 342 1337 +1698
N'eastern OK State U 350 355 335 337 1377 +209
FINAL INDIVIDUAL RESULTS
1 Charlotte Campbell Rollins 78 74 76 71 299 +7
2 Pamela Feggans Fl. South. 80 76 71 76 303 +11
3 Emily Russell N Colorado 76 79 78 74 307 +15
McIlroy gets back on track
There’s only one way to view Rory McIlroy’s performance at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship:
He is well ahead of schedule.
Sure, McIlroy is probably disappointed that he couldn’t chase down Ross Fisher (and then Tommy Fleetwood) on the final day at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. But against a recent backdrop of injuries and apathy, his tie for third was a resounding success. He reasserted himself, quickly, and emerged 100 percent healthy.
“Overall, I’m happy,” he said after finishing at 18-under 270, four back of Fleetwood. “I saw some really, really positive signs. My attitude, patience and comfort level were really good all week.”
To fully appreciate McIlroy’s auspicious 2018 debut, consider his state of disarray just four months ago. He was newly married. Nursing a rib injury. Breaking in new equipment. Testing another caddie. His only constant was change. “Mentally, I wasn’t in a great place,” he said, “and that was because of where I was physically.”
And so he hit the reset button, taking the longest sabbatical of his career, a three-and-a-half-month break that was as much psychological as physical. He healed his body and met with a dietician, packing five pounds of muscle onto his already cut frame. He dialed in his TaylorMade equipment, shoring up a putting stroke and wedge game that was shockingly poor for a player of his caliber. Perhaps most importantly, he cleared his cluttered mind, cruising around Italy with wife Erica in a 1950s Mercedes convertible.
After an intense buildup to his season debut, McIlroy was curious about the true state of his game, about how he’d stack up when he finally put a scorecard in his hand. It didn’t take him long to find out.
Playing the first two rounds alongside Dustin Johnson – the undisputed world No. 1 who was fresh off a blowout victory at Kapalua – McIlroy beat him by a shot. Despite a 103-day competitive layoff, he played bogey-free for 52 holes. And he put himself in position to win, trailing by one heading into the final round. Though Fleetwood blew away the field with a back-nine 30 to defend his title, McIlroy collected his eighth top-5 in his last nine appearances in Abu Dhabi.
“I know it’s only three months,” he said, “but things change, and I felt like maybe I needed a couple of weeks to get back into the thought process that you need to get into for competitive golf. I got into that pretty quickly this week, so that was the most pleasing thing.”
The sense of relief afterward was palpable. McIlroy is entering his 11th full year as a pro, and deep down he likely realizes 2018 is shaping up as his most important yet.
The former Boy Wonder is all grown up, and his main challengers now are a freakish athlete (DJ) and a trio of players under 25 (Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm) who don’t lack for motivation or confidence. The landscape has changed significantly since McIlroy’s last major victory, in August 2014, and the only way he’ll be able to return to world No. 1 is to produce a sustained period of exceptional golf, like the rest of the game’s elite. (Based on average points, McIlroy, now ranked 11th, is closer to the bottom of the rankings, No. 1928, than to Johnson.)
But after years of near-constant turmoil, McIlroy, 28, finally seems ready to pursue that goal again. He is planning the heaviest workload of his career – as many as 30 events, including seven more starts before the Masters – and appears refreshed and reenergized, perhaps because this year, for the first time in a while, he is playing without distractions.
Not his relationships or his health. Not his equipment or his caddie or his off-course dealings.
Everything in his life is lined up.
Drama tends to follow one of the sport’s most captivating characters, but for now he can just play golf – lots and lots of golf. How liberating.
Crocker among quartet of Open qualifiers in Singapore
Former amateur standout Sean Crocker was among four players who qualified for the 147th Open via top-12 finishes this week at the Asian Tour's SMBC Singapore Open as part of the Open Qualifying Series.
Crocker had a strong college career at USC before turning pro late last year. The 21-year-old received an invitation into this event shortly thereafter, and he made the most of his appearance with a T-6 finish to net his first career major championship berth.
There were four spots available to those not otherwise exempt among the top 12 in Singapore, but winner Sergio Garcia and runners-up Shaun Norris and Satoshi Kodaira had already booked their tickets for Carnoustie. That meant that Thailand's Danthai Boonma and Jazz Janewattanond both qualified thanks to T-4 finishes.
Crocker nabbed the third available qualifying spot, while the final berth went to Australia's Lucas Herbert. Herbert entered the week ranked No. 274 in the world and was the highest-ranked of the three otherwise unqualified players who ended the week in a tie for eighth.
The next event in the Open Qualifying Series will be in Japan at the Mizuno Open in May, when four more spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs. The 147th Open will be held July 19-22 in Carnoustie, Scotland.
Got a second? Fisher a bridesmaid again
Ross Fisher is in the midst of a career resurgence - he just doesn't have the hardware to prove it.
Fisher entered the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship with a share of the lead, and as he made the turn he appeared in position to claim his first European Tour victory since March 2014. But he slowed just as Tommy Fleetwood caught fire, and when the final putt fell Fisher ended up alone in second place, two shots behind his fellow Englishman.
It continues a promising trend for Fisher, who at age 37 now has 14 career runner-up finishes and three in his last six starts dating back to October. He was edged by Tyrrell Hatton both at the Italian Open and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in the fall, and now has amassed nine worldwide top-10 finishes since March.
Fisher took a big step toward ending his winless drought with an eagle on the par-5 second followed by a pair of birdies, and he stood five shots clear of Fleetwood with only nine holes to go. But while Fleetwood played Nos. 10-15 in 4 under, Fisher played the same stretch in 2 over and was unable to eagle the closing hole to force a playoff.
While Fisher remains in search of an elusive trophy, his world ranking has benefited from his recent play. The veteran was ranked outside the top 100 in the world as recently as September 2016, but his Abu Dhabi runner-up result is expected to move him inside the top 30 when the new rankings are published.
McIlroy (T-3) notches another Abu Dhabi close call
Rory McIlroy's trend of doing everything but hoist the trophy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship is alive and well.
Making his first start since early October, McIlroy showed few signs of rust en route to a tie for third. Amid gusty winds, he closed with a 2-under 70 to finish the week at 18 under, four shots behind Tommy Fleetwood who rallied to win this event for the second consecutive year.
The result continues a remarkable trend for the Ulsterman, who has now finished third or better seven of the last eight years in Abu Dhabi - all while never winning the tournament. That stretch includes four runner-up finishes and now two straight T-3 results.
McIlroy is entering off a disappointing 2017 in which he was injured in his first start and missed two chunks of time while trying to regain his health. He has laid out an ambitious early-season schedule, one that will include a trip to Dubai next week and eight worldwide tournament starts before he heads to the Masters.
McIlroy started the final round one shot off the lead, and he remained in contention after two birdies over his first four holes. But a bogey on No. 6 slowed his momentum, and McIlroy wasn't able to make a back-nine birdie until the closing hole, at which point the title was out of reach.