SHELBYVILLE, Ky. – Nova Southeastern overcame the grueling par-72, 6,283 yard Persimmon Ridge Golf Course to win its fourth consecutive Division II national championship Saturday. The Sharks finished atop the 12-team field with a collective score of +82 (308-306-315-305 — 1,234), 20 strokes ahead of runner-up Florida Southern.
No.1 Abbey Gittings also became the third consecutive individual champion from NSU. Her four-round tally of +10 (72-75-78-73 — 298) was two strokes better than Meghan Moore of UNC-Pembroke who finished at +12 (75-75-78-72 — 300).
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|Day Four: Recap|
|Day Three: Recap|
|Day Two: Recap|
|Day One: Recap|
|Leaderboards: Team | Individual|
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“What can you really say, four national championships in four years is an amazing accomplishment,” said Director of Athletic Michael Mominey. “This championship may be the most special simply because of the pressure of graduating four seniors from last year’s team and the changing of the head coach. Head coach Amanda Brown deserves much of the credit, as she has done an unbelievable job in just her first year. The team has faced more adversity than any before and for that this championship is very, very special”.
“This feels awesome,” head coach Amanda Brown said after the victory. “We had to overcome a lot of obstacles to get to this point. We have had only four players in the spring and each player has overcome injuries to reach this point.”
Gittings, who was suffering from a back injury throughout the tournament, came out on the final day of competition and carded a one-over 73 to move up from second where she started the round and capture the individual title. Gittings had a solid finish to her championship round, carding two birdies and two pars in the final four holes to solidify her spot at the top of the leaderboard and earn medalist honors.
“I could not be more proud of each girl on this team and I am very proud of Abbey winning individually,” commented Brown “She’s had that goal since last year and she has been so determined in every practice and every tournament and I am just so proud that she was able to reach it.”
“On 14 I told Abbey that Moore was in the clubhouse tied with her at +12 and I think it pushed her through the rest of the round,” said Brown. “She was able to birdie 15 and 16 and then hit a great up and down on 17 for par giving her the edge.”
Liliana Cammisa matched Gittings 73 on Saturday, her best 18-hole score of the tournament, to finish in a tie for third with teammate No. 2 Daniela Ortiz with a tournament score of 301 (76-76-76-73 — 301).
Cammisa played a steady round of golf, registering a pair of birdies on the front nine before ending her tournament with seven pars on the final nine holes. Ortiz also holed a pair of birdies in her last round, to go with 10 pars. Her final-round 77 brought her overall tally to 301 (73-72-79-77 — 301).
The lone senior on the Sharks’ 2012 roster, Claudia Wolf, matched her tournament’s best score, shooting a 10-over 82 to finish the tournament tied for 44th with a combined score of 334 (87-83-82-82 — 334). Wolf birdied the fifth hole and ended her tournament with three pars on the final three holes.
“We made it a goal in the beginning of the year to win the national championship and it feels great to have accomplished that goal,” Brown said. “This was the most challenging win for me as a coach in my career. We appreciated the opportunity to play at Persimmon Ridge this week. It is a great course.”
The Sharks become only the second team in the history of the DII women’s golf championship to win four consecutive titles. Rollins accomplished the feat from 2003-06, with the 2006 title coming in a weather-shortened tournament. The Sharks are now tied with Florida Southern with four championships, trailing only Rollins who has five. NSU, FSC and Rollins are the only schools to have won a national championship since the NCAA began hosting the tournament in 2000.