SMU rallies to win Central District Invitational, bests two ranked opponents
PARRISH, Fla. -- SMU rallied from third place to win the Central District Invitational on Tuesday for the team's third win of the 2012-13 season. Both Jenny Haglund (tied for third) and Felicia Espericueta (sixth) placed in the top six for the Mustangs, who won by two strokes, topping No. 12 Vanderbilt.
Haglund, who played in the final group with Michigan State's Caroline Powers and Vanderbilt's Lauren Stratton, made a crucial 30-foot chip on the 18th hole to give SMU a two-shot swing after both her playing partners bogeyed. That result proved to be enough for SMU to take the victory.
The Mustangs have not won three tournaments in the same season since winning three times in 1986.
Despite SMU's climb up the leaderboard, the squad was not focusing on its standing against their opponents.
"Our goal [Tuesday] wasn't to make up ground or to play against the teams but to see it, feel it, trust it on every shot," head coach Jeanne Sutherland said.
Haglund's third-place finish marks her second top five of the season. She finished fourth at the Chip-N Club Invite. Espericueta has had two strong appearances to start the spring season, after finishing tied for 11th at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic last week.
No. 21 Michigan State finished third, while Denver and Iowa State rounded out the top five.