Vejlupkova

SAINT LEO, Fla. -- The Sunshine State Conference Championships featured five teams in the top-10 of the national rankings, and four of them were within seven strokes of the lead going into Tuesday’s final round. After a hard fought battle, No. 7 Florida Southern defeated top-ranked Nova Southeastern on a 1-hole playoff to claim its first conference title since 2007 and end a three-year reign by the Sharks.

Florida Southern began the day with a 6-stroke lead against No. 2 Lynn and No. 6 Barry, as well as a 7-stroke lead against Nova Southeastern. Barry struggled early and fell out of contention, while Lynn was never able to make a run at the Moccasins. The Sharks, however, whittled the deficit down to three before tying for the lead.

After Florida Southern finished the round with a 305 and Nova had a 298, the teams went to a 1-hole playoff, which was the first tie-breaker needed in the SSC Women’s Golf Championships since the tournament began in 1999. While the Sharks played the hole at three-over, the Moccasins got an even-par score from Barbora Vejlupkova, Amy Hodgkinson and Emily Rymer to secure the win.

The league’s individual title was won by Nova Southeastern’s Liliana Cammisa, who shot a 72 on Tuesday and was the only golfer to reach par in the final round. She won medalist honors for the second year in a row. Cammisa, who also won the individual title at last year’s Super Regional, put the pressure on 2nd-round co-leaders Vejlupkova and Taylor Babcock early Tuesday morning with four birdies on her first eight holes.

Vejlupkova and Babcock, who were playing in the final group of the day, didn’t tee off until nearly an hour later and by that time Cammisa had nearly caught them on her own. Babcock had early trouble, including a triple-bogey on her sixth hole. Vejlupkova, meanwhile, held on to her lead until she finished with a double-bogey and a bogey on her final two holes, which gave her a 77 in the round and dropped her one shot behind Cammisa in second place. It was Vejlupkova’s consecutive runner-up finish, and her third consecutive finish in the top-10.

The 1-stroke margin was the closest since the 2009 tournament when Rollins’ Joanna Coe won a 3-way playoff against teammate Brianna Seo and Nova Southeastern’s Maria Garcia Austt.

Lynn’s Jessica Bradley also earned a share of second place in the individual standings after a final-round 76. Babcock, who shot a 78, was fourth, trailing Cammisa by two strokes and Rollins’ Annie Dulman was fifth. Dulman had a 74 and finished three strokes off the pace.

Vejlupkova was the only Moccasin in the top-10, but Megan Kiley and Jackie Rajek were tied for 11th. Kiley had the Mocs’ best score of the day with a two-over par 74, followed by Rymer’s 76, Vejlupkova’s 77 and Hodgkinson’s 78. Hodgkinson tied for 17th and Rymer tied for 19th.

With the win, Florida Southern receives the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Super Regional on May 5-7 at Lakeland’s Lone Palm Golf Club.