March 24, 2014
Hilton Head Island, S.C. - Western Carolina women's golf swept the top two individual positions Monday en route to a runner-up finish at the Low Country Intercollegiate, hosted by Wofford College at the par-72, 5,815-yard South Course at the Moss Creek Golf Club. Redshirt sophomore Kristin Swindell used a strong finish to her final round to claim the individual medalist honors, followed closely by her teammate Kim Mitchell in second place.
Swindell's individual medalist honor was the first of her WCU career, and is the second for a Catamount this season. She joined classmate Taylor Allison, who topped the podium at the home Great Smokies Intercollegiate in Waynesville, N.C.
After posting 15 pars and three bogies in her first round on Sunday for a three-over par, 75, Swindell came home with a four-over par, 76, on Monday afternoon. Opening on the front nine, the Bradenton, Fla., product who transferred to WCU prior to this fall battled through bogies on four of her first five holes before a double-bogey on the par-5 sixth left her at six-over par to start the final round. She finished her front nine with a trio of pars to settle the round.
A bogey on the par-4 ninth left her sitting at seven-over par for the day before the rally to the finish began. Swindell penciled in her first birdie of the tournament on the par-4 12th before carding four-consecutive pars. She finished strong with back-to-back birdies on the par-3 17th and par-4 18th - a hole she bogeyed the day before - to finish at four-over par.
All told, Swindell was three-under par on her final seven holes Monday to rally to the top of the leader board.
In a two-way tie for third after the opening round on Sunday, Mitchell matched Swindell's final round of four-over par, 76, to post her first career top 10 finish at WCU. On Monday - opening on the first hole - Mitchell recorded a birdie to start her round at one-under par. However, consecutive bogies on No. 2 and No. 3 - and all together bogies on five of her next eight holes - left her four-over par at the turn. On the back nine, Mitchell started with four-straight pars before a bogey on the par-5 14th. The Woodbridge, Va., native closed her round with back-to-back birdies on holes No. 16 and No. 17 with an additional bogey on the 18th.
Mitchell finished with five birdies on the difficult Moss Creek South Course.
Sophomore Taylor Allison moved from a tie for 25th after the first 18 holes to post her fifth career top 10 finish - and third this season - by placing in a tie for seventh. From Elizabeth City, N.C., Allison trimmed four strokes off her opening round 82 to shoot 78 on Monday, finishing nine strokes off the pace at 161.
Freshman Ashley Thompson matched her best career finish, placing in a tie for 26th overall with a two-round score of 167 (80-87), while sophomore Mariah Hopkins rounded out WCU's scoring five in a tie for 41st overall at 175 (82-93).
Playing unattached as individuals, Catamount freshmen Olivia Landino and Bethany Galloway finished tied for 22nd and tied for 35th, respectively. Landino rallied with a final round 78 to advance 24 spots in the final standings, while Galloway - like Thompson - recorded her best career finish.
First-round leader, Samford, claimed the top team honors by three strokes over the second-place Catamounts. The Bulldogs carded rounds of 313 and 315 for a two-day total of 628 while WCU turned in scores of 314 and 317 for a 36-hole tally of 631, three strokes in arrears. Gardner-Webb finished third at 643, followed by Bethune-Cookman with a 647 in fourth and the host Terriers in fifth at 661.
Two other Southern Conference schools were a part of the 10-team field in Appalachian State (9th, 681) and The Citadel (10th, 696).
Western Carolina returns to action at the Mimosa Hills Intercollegiate at the Mimosa Hills Country Club in Morganton, N.C., March 30-31 with 18 holes per day to make up the 36-hole event. After winning the tournament in 2012, the Catamounts finished fifth at the same event a season ago. WCU also finished third in the tournament back in both 2009 and 2010.