Nova Southeastern wins South Region
Top-ranked Sharks have shot at third national title in a row
LAKELAND, Fla. – Top-ranked Nova Southeastern University punched its ticket to the 2011 NCAA Division II Women’s Golf National Championship by winning the South Regional tournament by a 13-stroke margin on Tuesday.
After dominating the nine-team field in Lakeland, NSU posted a three-round 875 (+11) on the 6,255-yard, par-72 Club at Eaglebrooke course. The Sharks will now attempt to become among the few elite teams to ever win three consecutive national titles, having won the championship in 2009 and 2010. Only two other Division II women’s teams have ever won three consecutive titles. Rollins won four in a row from 2003-2006 and Florida Southern accomplished the feat 2000-2002.
Since 1996, the winner of the Division II Women’s Golf Championship has come out of the Sunshine State Conference, all but three times. Lynn has won one title, Florida Southern four, and Rollins has been named national champion five times.
NSU’s Sandra Changkija, the three-time NCAA Division II Player of the Year, once again proved why she is the best. Recently featured on NCAA.com in an article “Fashionably Late”, Changkija dominated the field of 49 individuals as the only player to shoot under par. Over the three rounds, she fired a 214 (-2) with rounds of 72, 68 and 74 to claim the South Regional individual medalist honors.
Overall three Sharks finished in the top five. Behind Changkija, sophomore Abbey Gittings finished second with a three-round 217 (+1). After opening rounds of 73 and 76, the second-year player saved her best round for last. She opened the final round with a birdie on a par four and then rattled off five more to finish with a four-under 68. Taylor Collins finished tied for third with a three-round 220 (+4).
Starting the final round tied for fourth, Fredrika Hakansson slipped only slightly finishing with a three-round 224 (+8) to finish 11th overall. Senior Nicole Whitmore struggled throughout the tournament and finished 36th with three-round score of 239 (+23).
No. 4 Rollins solidified second place with a three-round 888 (+24), which was 13 strokes back of the Sharks. No. 2 Florida Southern finished third at 892 (+28), while No. 24 Carson-Newman came in fourth at 921 (+57). No. 6 Belmont Abbey rounded out the top five with a three-round 922 (+58).
The 2011 NCAA Division II National Championship will be held in Allendale, Mich. and hosted by Grand Valley State at The Meadows.