Boone, N.C. – Through the first four events of the 2019-20 collegiate women’s golf season, the proverbial grass has been greener on the other side for Western Carolina sophomore Madison Isaacson. The second-year striker who traded ends of the state – transferring to Cullowhee from UNC Wilmington after a season on the beach – continued her strong start in her new home on Tuesday.
Isaacson posted her fourth top 10 finish – and third, top-five showing – to open the season by placing in a two-way tie for third at the Hound Ears Intercollegiate which concluded Tuesday afternoon at the tournament’s namesake, the par-72, 6,069-yard Hound Ears Club. Her top 10 finish paced WCU to a fourth-place team showing as the Catamounts were unable to advance from their fourth-place perch after the opening round.
Isaacson paced the tournament field with 29 pars over her 36 holes of play at the two-round tournament, carding her eighth and ninth rounds in the 70s, respectively, since putting on the Purple & Gold. The Greensboro, N.C., product paced the field in par-3 scoring at 2-under par (2.75) while also ranking tied for second in par-4 scoring (+2, 4.10). All told, Isaacson inked three birdies in Boone.
WCU’s lineup boasted two of the biggest gainers on the final day of competition as junior Maya White countered an opening-round 85 with a second-round score of 2-over par 74 to leap 13 spots into a tie for 14th overall with a two-day total of 159. Senior teammate Brianna Plummer knocked eight strokes off her first-round score to move eight positions, following-up an 84 with a 4-over par 76, a stroke in arrears of White at 160. The two both had three birdies overall.
Rounding out WCU’s scoring five were freshmen Bailee Twiford in a tie for 21st at 161 (82-79) and Victoria Ladd in 25th overall at 163 (83-80). Twiford was second on the Catamount squad with 20 pars while Ladd matched Isaacson with three birdies.
Playing unattached as an individual, junior Hazel Martin slipped three spots in the final standings to come home 24th overall with rounds of 82 and 80 (160). Martin tallied a team-best four birdies.
William & Mary repeated as event champion, pulling away over the final 18 holes to edge runner-up Gardner-Webb by seven strokes, 612-to-619. Tournament host – and first-round leader – Appalachian State slipped to third at 622, 10 strokes off the pace. WCU was fourth at 626 with Wofford (627) and Longwood (639) rounding out the field.
Tied for fourth after the opening round, Gardner-Webb’s Linnea Hofgren posted a 2-under par round of 70 to finish the two-day event at even-par 144 to claim individual medalist honors. App State’s Hannah Wang advanced seven spots to finish as the tournament’s runner-up at 3-over par, 147, ahead of the two-way tie for third between Isaacson and first-round leader Sarah Houle of William & Mary at 148.
Western Carolina closes the fall portion of its 2019-20 schedule Nov. 4-5 as it travels to the Idle Hour Collegiate, hosted by SoCon-foe Mercer at the Idle Hour Club. The Catamounts look to continue their strong fall season and improve upon last year’s 12th-place showing at the same event.
4 – Western Carolina – 322-304 = 626 (+50)
T3 – Madison Isaacson – 73-75 = 148 (+4)
T14 – Maya White – 85-74 = 159 (+15)
T19 – Brianna Plummer – 84-76 = 160 (+16)
T21 – Bailee Twiford – 82-79 = 161 (+17)
25 – Victoria Ladd – 83-80 = 163 (+19)
24 – Hazel Martin (ind.) – 82-80 = 162 (+18)