Coastal Carolina wins Big South title
Alexander closes with 72 to win medalist honors for Chanticleers
NINETY SIX, S.C. -- Coastal Carolina posted the lowest round of the tournament with a team aggregate score of 299 to win the 2011 Big South Women's Golf Championship on Wednesday afternoon at The Patriot Golf Club at Grand Harbor. The Chanticleers won the team title for the second time in three years and captured its fifth Big South Women's Golf crown - the second-most in league history.
Coastal Carolina won by 18 strokes and receives the Conference's automatic berth in the NCAA Regionals. Individually, Big South Women's Golfer of the Year Jessica Alexander carded an even-par 72 on Wednesday - tied for the lowest individual round of the tournament -- to win medalist honors by one shot with a 54-hole score of 225. She entered the final round tied for fourth-place with High Point's Jessica Neese at 153 and was four shots off the lead. Gardner-Webb's Hannah Hellyer, the 36-hole leader by three strokes at 149, posted a 5-over 77 in the final round and tied for second with Bucknell's Lauren Bernard at 226. Bernard vaulted from sixth-place into the runner-up spot with a 72 on Wednesday, which included a 1-under 35 on the back nine. She also was 1-under for the day through 15 holes.
The Chanticleers placed four players in the top eight, as Brittany Henderson was fourth with a 227 (74-78-75), followed by Courtney Boe tying for sixth-place with a 232 (77-79-76). Kaitlin Higginbotham tied for eighth with a 233 (75-77-81). Coastal Carolina entered the final round with an 11-shot lead over Gardner-Webb, and the Runnin' Bulldogs tallied a 308 on Wednesday to earn team runner-up honors at 930 - the school's best finish since joining the Big South Conference in 2008-09.
Unlike the first two days, Wednesday's final round featured sunny skies, no wind and pleasant temperatures.
Following second-place Gardner-Webb, Bucknell was third with a 949 - the team's best finish since becoming an associate women's golf member in 2003, while High Point was fourth with a 953, its best finish since 2006. Radford and host Winthrop tied for fifth with a 959, just ahead of Charleston Southern (960). Associate member Holy Cross officially finished eighth with a 1,063. Presbyterian College concluded the tournament at 1,021, but the Blue Hose's results do not officially count in the individual or team standings as part of their transition process to Division I.
Earning All-Conference honors based on their play in the Conference Championship were Bernard, Hellyer, Henderson, Neese and Gardner-Webb's Lauren Smith. The five join Alexander, Boe, Higginbotham, Bucknell's Katie Jurenovich and Radford's Hannah Coles, who were voted to the team for their regular-season play and were announced on Monday.
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