Lexington, S.C. - Senior Ashley Thompson carded a final round score of 2-over par, 74, to advance 20 spots in the final standings, pacing Western Carolina with a 15th-place tie as the Catamounts came home eighth at the rain-shortened 2017 Southern Conference Women's Golf Championship concluded Tuesday at the par-72, 6,153-yard Country Club of Lexington.
Thompson countered four bogies and a double-bogey with four birdies over the final 18 holes on Tuesday to lead the team. The Clyde, N.C., native posted a pair of birdies on the back nine in the final round to make the turn to the front at 1-under par. However, the double-bogey on the par-5 first left her at 1-over for the round. The fourth-year striker rebounded, though, scoring a birdie on the par-3 second to move back even with seven holes to play.
Finishing off the round, Thompson came to the clubhouse with two more bogies and an additional par for the 2-over round and a two-day score of 155.
Sophomore Natalia Villavicencio slipped to 30th overall on the final day of competition, shooting 10-over par, 82, for a two-round total of 158. The Santiago, Chile, product carded birdies on two holes on the back nine to make the turn to the front at 2-over par. However, a struggle over the final nine holes slowed her finish for the Purple & Gold.
Junior Amanda Floberg climbed two spots on the final day into 36th overall with a two-round score of 162 (82-80), while classmate Alyssa Morahan came home in a three-way tie for 37th at 163 (81-82). Floberg finished with four birdies in the tournament including three on Sunday, while Morahan matched her first round with two birdies on Tuesday.
Rounding out WCU's scoring five was senior Bethany Galloway in 40th overall with a score of 169 (83-86).
The Furman Paladins put an exclamation point on a solid season, claiming the program's third-straight SoCon Women's Golf Championship on Tuesday. The Paladins shot rounds of 280 and 288 to claim a 28-stroke victory over runner-up, Chattanooga (596) for a third-straight season. Furman's 8-under par score of 568 is the second-best all-time score in a 36-hole tournament in SoCon history, besting their 2015 36-hole score of 573. With the win, Furman clinched the SoCon's automatic bid to a NCAA Regional.
ETSU finished third with a two-round score of 606, followed by Mercer (615) and UNCG (618) to round out the top five. Wofford finished seventh at 630, with WCU (638) and The Citadel (692) finishing out the team standings.
Paladin freshman Natalie Srinivasan, of Spartanburg, South Carolina, won the individual championship and was named the 2017 Southern Conference Freshman of the Year after shooting a 5-under 139 for the tournament at the par-72, 6,159-yard Country Club of Lexington. Srinivasan's score is the second-lowest by a SoCon player in a 36-hole championship in SoCon history. ETSU's Loy Hee Ying, the 2017 SoCon Player of the Year, tied for fourth place with Chattanooga's Monica San Juan after both posted scores of 2-over-par 146.
The 2017 Women's Golf All-Southern Conference team will be announced later this week.