Orlando, Fla. - Western Carolina women's golf concluded play Tuesday afternoon at the spring semester opening UCF Challenge, finishing 18th overall with a three-day score of 945 at the par-72, 6,349-yard Eagle Creek Golf Club. The Catamounts were led by senior Kim Mitchell, who slipped 10 spots in the final standings to place in a four-way tie for 61st with a three-day total of 232 (79-75-78).
Mitchell countered eight bogies with a pair of birdies to shoot 6-over par, 78, in the final round. Over the three-rounds, the Woodbridge, Va., native tallied 30 pars and four birdies, averaging 77.33 for the tournament.
Mitchell's classmate, Mariah Hopkins, slid nine spots to finish tied for 77th with a three-day total of 236 (80-76-80), matching her first round score of 8-over par, 80, on the final day. Hopkins also had four birdies for the Catamounts, finishing tied for third in par-3 scoring (-2, 2.83).
WCU's first-round leader, freshman Maddi Caldwell, placed in a three-way tie for 85th overall at 239 (78-78-83) with classmate Natalia Villavicencio (t-88th, 82-73-85=240) and junior Bethany Galloway (94th, 82-83-83=248) rounding out the team's scoring five amidst the highly-competitive field. Galloway also had four birdies for the Purple & Gold.
No. 42 Houston -- which led by four strokes after the opening 18 holes -- rallied three spots in the final round to claim the team championship, edging runner-up, Tulane, by a stroke, 885-to-886. The Cougars carded their third-straight round of 295 to overtake the Golden Wave. No. 25 Missouri slipped into third with a three-day score of 890 with 39th-ranked Texas (891) finishing fourth, a stroke ahead of a three-way tie for fifth between No. 36 East Carolina, No. 15 Iowa State, and Kentucky, each posting a team score of 892.
Second-round co-leader, Frida Gustafsson Spang of East Carolina, posted a final round of even-par, 72, to claim individual medalist honors with a three-round score of 3-under par, 213. Michelle Butler of Missouri, who shared the top spot after 36 holes, finished in second place, three strokes in arrears with a tournament-total of 216.
Western Carolina returns to the "Sunshine State" for its second tournament of the spring semester, competing in the UNF Collegiate hosted by North Florida at the Jacksonville Golf & Country Club on March 7-8. The Catamounts finished seventh at the same event a season ago with Mitchell placing in a tie for 20th to lead the way.