Travelers Rest, S.C. - Western Carolina freshman Maddi Caldwell carded her collegiate career-low round of 1-over par, 73, on Thursday to win individual medalist honors in the three-team match held at The Cliffs at Mountain Park. Gardner-Webb (315) defeated WCU and Wofford to take the top team prize by five strokes over the Catamounts (320), with Wofford shooting 324 on the day.
Playing unattached as an individual, Caldwell carded 11 pars and three birdies over the one-round event at the par-72, 5,930-yard venue. Caldwell ranked tied for the tournament lead in both par-3 (E, 3.00) and par-4 (+1, 4.10) scoring. The Dawsonville, Ga., product finished four strokes ahead of the runner-up, Mary Katherine Donovan (77) from Gardner-Webb.
Western Carolina's scoring five was led by senior Mariah Hopkins who came home in a tie for third place with a 6-over par, 78. Hopkins led the tournament with 13 pars among her 18 holes. Freshman Natalia Villavicencio placed in a tie for fifth place at 79, joined in the top 10 by junior Bethany Galloway in a tie for eighth at 81. Villavicencio had two birdies and eight pars while Galloway birdied once with 10 pars.
Rounding out WCU's side were senior Kim Mitchell in a tie for 13th at 82 and junior Ashley Thompson in a tie for 16th with an 84. Mitchell shot 1-under par (4.75) in par-5 scoring, second among all golfers, while Thompson charted 10 pars, tied for third on the squad.
For the victorious Runnin' Bulldogs, four members of their scoring five placed inside the top 10 including three among the top five. Mary Katherine Donovan led the squad with a 5-over par, 77, second in the overall individual standings.
Thursday's three-team event serves as a tune-up for the Catamount women's golf team which returns to action this weekend at the John Kirk / Panther Intercollegiate. The three-day, 54-hole event is hosted by Georgia State at the Eagle's Landing Country Club in Stockbridge, Ga. The first round is scheduled for Sunday, March 27. WCU finished third at the tournament a year ago, paced by Mitchell who placed in a tie for seventh last spring.