HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS, Fla. -- Rhodes made history on Friday, capturing the college's first NCAA Division III national team title, winning the 2014 NCAA Women's Golf Championship.The Lynx never trailed in the championship race, pulling out to a commanding 10-stroke lead after Round 1. Rhodes saw its lead shrink, but held on to a five-stroke advantage after the second round of play. Following a rainy third round, the Lynx fought for a 12-stroke lead and clinched the title in the fourth and final round with a team score of 1,256 to win the national title, 24 strokes ahead of the runner-up Mary Hardin-Baylor.
The Lynx were led by their three phenomenal freshmen who anchored the team throughout the tournament. First-year Jessica Zweifel led the charge, finishing third overall with a four-round score of 307 (77, 79, 76, 75). Fellow first-year Nikki Isaacson placed fourth in the NCAA field with a total score of 312 (76,81, 79, 76). Meg Healy capped her senior campaign with a national title, placing in a tie for 10th, recording a four-day score of 318 (80, 78, 82, 78). Sarahanne Vaughan rounded out the freshmen trio, where she had a stellar tournament for the Lynx, as well, placing 13th and carding a four-day total of 319 (78, 85, 77, 79). Junior Jessica Ritter turned in a total of 376 (80, 96, 90, 86) to finish out the Lynx top five.
Rhodes beat out stiff competition to take the title, downing the defending national champion, Mary Hardin-Baylor, which shot a score of 1,280. Williams finished third with an overall score of 1,285 with the Texas-Tyler placing fourth shooting 1,291. Methodist and Ithaca rounded out the top five with a tie at 1,298. Top-ranked Washington (Mo.) took seventh with a score of 1,300.
Georgiana Salant from Williams took medalist honors with a four-day total of 303. McKenzie Ralston of Mary Hardin-Baylor took second with a tournament total of 305.
The championship is the first team championship for Rhodes since the 1961 baseball team brought home a national title. This will be the first NCAA title since the individual tennis title won by Nao Kinishitain 1997.