DADE CITY, Fla. -- An 11-stroke lead heading into the final round ended with a 15-stroke victory for Lynn, sending its top-ranked team to the NCAA Division II national championship to defend their title. The Fighting Knights won the NCAA Super Regional 2 tournament for the second consecutive year while Ellen Chambers became the first in program history to claim co-medalist honors in an NCAA Regional.“This was the epitome of a complete team effort,” head coach Danny Randolph said. “Our girls did a great job of being prepared and it showed by the three quality scores we put together. Obviously this victory gives us a lot of momentum going into the national championship on a course we played in the fall but we need to be prepared for another battle with some of the best teams in the nation.”
Joining the Blue & White at Rock Barn Golf and Spa in Conover, N.C. to compete for a national title May 14-17, will be Barry and Rollins College. Lynn scored rounds of 297-291-293 for an 881 total, 15 shots better than the Buccaneers (896). The Tars (901) overcame a one-stroke deficit to Florida Tech heading into the third round to claim the final spot.
Chambers started play with a seven stroke advantage but host Saint Leo’s Marie Coors shot a one-under 71 to tie with Lynn’s senior. The Petrie, Australia, native finished with a 54-hole personal-best score of 218 to earn her second career tournament victory. Coors qualified as an individual for the national tournament along with Florida Tech’s Johanna Larsson and West Florida’s Daisy-May Kenny.
Louise Manalo broke her 54-hole personal-best score for the third time this season and for the second consecutive tournament. Two weeks after shooting a 222 at the Lake Jovita Golf & Country Club in the Sunshine State Conference Championship, the junior golfer posted a 220 to finish fourth individually.
A day after tying for her worst round of the season, Jessica Bradley rallied back to post a two-under-par 70. She would finish seventh with a score of 222, extend her string of consecutive top-10 finishes to 12 consecutive tournaments and take sole possession for career top-10 finishes with 24.
Smolen, who was tied with Bradley for career top-10 finishes, just missed out on keeping the tie with a 226 score. She had her best day on the course with a 73 but tied for 14th. Irene Calvo rounded out the Fighting Knights contingent, shooting a 234 over the three-day event.
Lynn is now just 72 holes away from repeating as NCAA Division II national champions. The Fighting Knights have been at the championship course, having participated and won the Division II Fall Preview on October 29. It served as one of the 10 victories Lynn claimed this year and was in the middle of a conference-record-tying seven-tournament winning streak.