W&L's Hall Birdies Two of Last Three Holes to Claim Medalist Honors
NELLYSFORD, Va. --- Bridgewater College completed a wire-to-wire run at the ODAC Women's Golf Championships to claim the program's first conference title. The Eagles carded team rounds of 331, 330 and a tournament-best 313 to register a 974 final total for a 27-stroke victory over Washington and Lee University following 54-holes of competition at the Stoney Creek Golf Course at Wintergreen Resort in Nellysford, Va.
The Generals' Mary-Frances Hall and BC's Christina Herbert, the two most recent ODAC Golfers of the Year -- Hall in 2015 and Herbert this season -- matched each other all weekend with the final three holes ultimately deciding the individual medalist. Both players carded 77's in the first two rounds and made the turn in round three at 1-under on the day.
Hall wavered first, bogeying the 324-yard par-4 11th to fall one stroke behind Herbert. But a two shot swing on the 16th hole turned the tides as Hall birdied the 333-yard par-4 while Herbert posted a five to fall one back. Hall gave her one-stroke advantage back with a bogey on the par-3 17th, setting the stage for the par-5 473-yard 18th to serve as the possible tournament decider.
Thanks exactly what happened as Hall bettered Herbert's par with a birdie to secure the individual crown with a 1-under 71 towards a 9-over 225 total. Hall's 71 was the low-round of the tournament, with Herbert's 72 proving second-best towards a 226 total.
Weather favored the players all weekend, proving a stark contrast to last season's championship that was shortened to 36 holes. Bridgewater, ranked 15th in NCAA Division III by Golfstat, took advantage of the conditions with three of its scoring players in the top-five. In addition to Herbert's runner-up finishing, Marin Warring placed third at 231 (82-76-73) and Andrea Walker chimed in fifth at 244 (84-82-78). Amanda Kelley tied for 13th at 273 (88-95-90), with Casey Gaffney rounded out the Eagles' five-woman squad in 17th at 293 (99-100-94).
Washington and Lee finished second at 1,001 (335-342-324), with Liza Freed (237--76-86-75) and Dana Droz (259--88-82-89) joining Hall in the top-10. Randolph-Macon College (1,042--349-346-347) finished third between the seventh-place showing (253--87-85-81) of two-time ODAC individual champion Olivia Bowling. Hollins University (1,204--406-398-400) capped the team standings in fourth with Shelby Estes' (250--88-77-85) sixth-place effort pacing HU's performance.
Selections for the NCAA Divsion III Championships will be announced the evening of Monday, May 2. Be sure to check www.ncaa.com that night for information on the national draw to see if any ODAC teams or competitors make the field.
For more information on ODAC women's golf, visit the websites of any of the participating schools, or go to the ODAC's home on the Internet at www.odaconline.com. Don't forget to become a fan of the ODAC on Facebook and follow the ODAC on Twitter at @odacathletics.