St. Edward’s wins Heartland tourney
Hilltoppers came from two shots back to win fifth title in a row
The sixth-ranked St. Edward’s women’s golf team came from two strokes down to win the 2011 Heartland Conference Championship on Tuesday at Teravista Golf Club.
Melisa Gonzalez shot a final-round 71 to tie for individual honors before winning in a playoff to help guide the Hilltoppers to their fifth consecutive conference crown.
St. Edward’s (309-304 -- 613) started the round off two shots behind Dallas Baptist (307-316 -- 623), and that deficit fell to as many as eight shots, before they rallied on the back nine to surpass the Patriots. Gonzalez led the charge as she tallied birdies at holes 11, 12, 14, and 15 to shoot a four-under 32 coming in. Dallas Baptist finished 10 shots behind the Hilltoppers for second place, while Newman (314-318--632) ended in third place.
“Today was very exciting and fun,” head coach Jennifer McNeil said. “Everyone knew every shot was crucial and we needed to pick upstrokes that we lost yesterday. I thought we did an excellent job under pressure. Our focus today was to get better and I feel like we accomplished that.”
Newman’s Linzi Allan (74-74 -- 148) had a par for the final hole to force a tie for first. Both players went to the first hole for the playoff. Gonzalez sent her tee shot right down the middle of the fairway 140 yards from the green. Allan’s drive was also true and ended up about 30 yards from a greenside bunker in the fairway. Both players’ approach shot landed just off of the green. After each player’s chip landed about six feet from the cup, both players had a putt for par. Allan went first and missed. Gonzalez stepped up and drained the putt for her first collegiate victory.
“I am so proud for Melisa and her awesome round, but to win in a playoff was both a great experience and made the victory even sweeter,” McNeil said. “It was truly exciting to watch her win and I am so proud of her great play and super focus.”