Lynn trumps Nova Southeastern in final round to earn first NCAA title since ’97
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Behind a final team score of 1,187, Lynn defeated four-time national champion Nova Southeastern at the 2013 NCAA Division II Women’s Golf Championship at the LPGA Legends course at LPGA International.
It wasn't easy for Lynn, which was neck and neck with Nova the whole day. The two teams exchanged the lead many times throughout the day, but when it mattered most Lynn stayed calm.
“I knew we were in the lead coming into 18,” Lynn head coach Danny Randolph said. “I knew we played solid and that they had made a couple of mistakes. I felt pretty good I just wanted to get the ball in the hole.”
[assetId:178767:2013 DII Women's Golf Championship asset] The two teams were tied at 20-over through the 15th hole. Then, in the final five holes, Lynn started to pull away. It was the second time in a month that Lynn defeated Nova. The first was at the South Regional championship on May 5.
“That's the beauty of being in the Sunshine State Conference,” Randolph said. “You don't have to go anywhere to know where your best teams are. We knew they were right down the road from us. We obviously played in all these tournaments together and it was very much a comfort factor. We aren’t intimidated by them in a respectful way. I respect Nova Southeastern for what they've done over the last four years.
We knew we had our hands full and that's what I told the girls. They’re the champs right now and they don't have to be the champs at the end of the day.”
The top three teams of the tournament, Lynn, Nova and Barry are all in the Sunshine State Conference.
“We have a very, very competitive conference,” Lynn junior Ellen Chambers said. “We bring out the best in each other. It's great going to tournaments because every time we’re playing against the best teams in the country and that really motivates us, and it definitely did this week playing with Nova and Barry in the final two rounds.”
Chambers led the Knights with a fourth-round 75. She finished the tournament with a 7-over 295.
“Ellen [Chambers] was honestly our best player for much of the year,” Randolph said. “She struggled a little the last couple of weeks. We have two keys, communication and depth. It can be anybody any day who helps us.”
The closest team not on the Sunshine State Conference was St. Edward's in fourth with an overall score of 74-over par. Grand Canyon rounded out the top five at 83 over.
This is the first time since 1997 that Lynn won the national championship. At that time DII and DIII competed together.