BRADENTON, Fla. - TCU claimed a clean sweep, winning both the team and individual titles at the Waterlefe/USF Invitational on Tuesday afternoon. Sophomore D'Rae Ward won the event by one stroke, while the Frogs cruised to a nine-shot victory over the rest of the 14-team field.
TCU, which finished the first round in fifth place, stormed into the lead following a tournament-best 292 (+4) on the second 18 holes. In the final round, the Horned Frogs (898) recorded a 299, one of just four sub-300 rounds of the tourney, to defeat Conference USA foe South Florida (907) by nine strokes. It was TCU's first victory since the team won the 2002 Conference USA Championships last April, and the team's seventh victory under head coach Angie Ravaioli-Larkin.
Individually, Ward picked up her first collegiate title with a one-over par score of 217. After opening up the event with a four-over 76, she posted under-par rounds of 70 and 71 to win the tournament. Ward netted six birdies in the final round. Her 54-hole score was a career best, and she grabbed her fourth-ever top-10 finish. Ward became the second TCU golfer, joining junior Brooke Tull, to win an individual title this year.
A pair of Frogs, Tull and freshman Stephanie Godare, also helped propel TCU to the title by recording 10th-place individual finishes. Both players posted three-round scores of 225 (+9). It was the fifth top-10 finish of the season for Tull and the first for Godare.
Senior Shannon Barr tied for 29th with a 234 (+18) after posting an 81 on the final day. TCU's final competitor, freshman Traci Robison, had a 78 on the final day, and finished 63rd at the tournament (250).
'Our focus this week wasn't on trying to beat other teams, it was just on playing well,' Ravaioli-Larkin said. 'And we did that. We kind of ham-and-egged it, with different players stepping up to help us each round. D'Rae really played great. It is always an extra bonus when you can get an individual to win a tournament too. I was very proud of the way she and the team played.'
1. TCU 307-292-299=898 (+34); 2. South Florida 302-311-294=907 (+43); 3. Penn State 304-308-297=912 (+48); 4. Louisville 303-311-304=918 (+54); T-5. Mississippi 309-306-307=922 (+58); T-5. East Carolina 309-309-304=922 (+58); 7. Campbell 306-318-308=932 (+68); 8. Georgia State 326-302-309=937 (+73); T-9. Miami 317-315-307=939 (+75); T-9. Southern Miss 318-321-300=939 (+75); 11. UAB 319-317-304=940 (+76); 12. Central Florida 326-323-307=956 (+92); 13. College of Charleston 326-320-319=965 (+101); 14. Florida International 325-347-333=1005 (+141).
1. D'Rae Ward 76-70-71=217 (+1); T-10. Brooke Tull 77-73-75=225 (+9); T-10. Stephanie Godare 76-74-75=225 (+9); T-29. Shannon Barr 78-75-81=234 (+18); 63. Traci Robison 83-89-78=250 (+34).