AAS
Sammarco

PINE MOUNTAIN, Ga. -- Armstrong Atlantic State won its first Peach Belt Conference Championship on Tuesday at Callaway Gardens as it fired a team score of 311 in the final round to win by 11 strokes. After sharing the day-one lead with Flagler, three Pirates shot in the 70s led by Jenna Birch’s 73 to outdistance Flagler and UNC Pembroke, who finished in a tie for second. Lander was fourth with Columbus State fifth followed by Montevallo and North Georgia.

The championship was held at the 5,849-yard, par-71 Lake View Course at Callaway Gardens, the second time the event has been held there. Columbus State served as tournament host.

Armstrong’s Kristen Sammarco claimed the individual title, taking the lead generated by her opening-day record round of 65 to hold on despite shooting a 79 on Tuesday.  Sammarco finished at two-over 144, five strokes ahead of Lander’s Mariana Martins. Flagler’s Elin Karlsson was third with UNC Pembroke’s Meghan Moore and North Georgia’s Catalina Olarte tied for fourth.

For Armstrong, the win is their second of the season and first conference title. Birch drove the team, shooting one-under on the front nine with a birdie at the third. She had four bogeys and another birdie on the back side for a final of 73, the second-lowest round of the day. Kimberly Knox shot a 75, shaving 12 strokes off her opening-round total to finish in a tie for 18th. Sammarco, who set a record for the lowest round in the PBC women’s golf history with a 65 on Monday, was tripped up by a pair of double bogeys on the fifth and 16th, but kept her round to 79 to win the individual title, her second of the season.

Flagler came up just short in their attempt to repeat their 2010 championship run, which was also played on the Lake View Course at Callaway Gardens. The Saints struggled to find birdies on the course as Karlsson was the only Flagler player to break 80 as she had a pair of birdies to shoot a 78. Leslie Couchard and Victoria Seenath were tied for 10th at 158 while Nicole Keyser was tied for 18th.

UNC Pembroke made up the two strokes they trailed Flagler to finish in the tie for second. The Braves were led by Meghan Moore who shot a team-low 76 to finish in a tie for fourth.  Moore had three birdies on the day, including a two on the par-3 10th.  Shauna Walor shot 74-78 to finish in a tie for sixth while Kelly Sumner was tied for 14th at 159.

Lander finished their first PBC Championship only two strokes out of that tie for second. The Bearcats shot 316 as a team in the final round, led by Martins 75. Ashley Shinn and Dea Mahendra were tied for 10th at 158.

Columbus State’s Kimesha Anthony finished in ninth place after shooting a 76 in the final round. Montevallo was the only team in the field to lower their score from round one.  Megan Clyne had the low round of the day with an even-par 72.  North Georgia’s Catalina Olarte fired a 75 on Tuesday to finish in a tie for fourth.