March 1, 2011
Valdosta, Ga. - Sophomore Malin Jansson led Western Carolina to an eighth-place finish against a highly competitive field at the Kinderlou Forest Challenge, hosted by Kennesaw State at the par-73, 6,359-yard Kinderlou Forest Golf Club.
WCU finished ahead of five teams which were ranked higher entering the event. The Catamounts, ranked 70th, finished just ahead of Georgia, which was ranked 12th in the Feb. 23 rankings released by GolfStat, while also placing ahead of Illinois (52), Texas Tech (67), Kennesaw State (66) and Wisconsin (51).
Southern Conference-foe, Chattanooga, shot a two-under 290 collectively as a team on Tuesday to rally from second place to overtake Coastal Carolina - which led the through 36 holes - by nine strokes, 896-to-905. Augusta State finished third at 909 with Florida State in third at 910. Rounding out the top five teams was a two-way tie for fifth between Furman and East Carolina, both shooting 920 over the three-day event.
Augusta State's Casey Kennedy held on to claim individual medalist honors, edging second-place Yushira Budhram of UTC by a stroke, 218-to-219. Furman's Laura Wearn slipped from a tie for first entering the final round to third with a one-over 220, while Emma de Groot of UTC finished fourth, just ahead of the two-way tie for fifth between Jessica Alexander and Brittany Henderson, both of Coastal Carolina.
Starting on the par-4 ninth hole on Tuesday, Jansson played the first 12 holes of her final round at two-under with three birdies on the back nine. However, five-consecutive bogies on five of her final six holes relegated her to three-over, 76, for the day. She posted a team-leading 231 in the three-round event.
Senior Josefine Sundh rallied to finish tied for 36th overall, shooting three-over 76 in the final round on Tuesday. Sundh had four scores of bogey or worse with a pair of birdies on the par-3 15th and par-5 18th, finishing with at 234. Junior Rachel Nelson fired a 78 on Tuesday to finish tied for 47th overall, while her classmate Blaire Minter carded a final round five-over 78 to place tied for 54th with teammate Tiffany Schisler with three-round scores of 240.
The women's golf team returns to action on Thursday, March 3 as it teams with the men's squad in the University Cup co-ed challenge event against Appalachian State. It is WCU's first year competing in the head-to-head event at the Mimosa Hills Country Club.