Oct. 1, 2013
Greensboro, N.C. - Led by redshirt sophomore Kristin Swindell in a tie for seventh, Western Carolina put two individuals inside the final Top 20 standings to advance three positions in the final team rankings, placing fourth at the UNCG / Starmount Fall Classic which concluded Tuesday at the par-71, 6,265-yard Starmount Forest Country Club.
The seventh-place tie marked the WCU career-best for Swindell, as well as the second Top 10 finish for the transfer from Bradenton, Fla., this fall. For the Catamounts, the fourth-place finish is the third-straight Top 10 and second-consecutive Top Five finish this season.
First-day leader, Chattanooga, held off a hard-charging Campbell squad by two strokes, 876-to-878, to claim top team honors. The Camels were eight-strokes better than the Lady Mocs on Tuesday (290-to-298), chipping away all but two of UTC's 10-stroke lead entering the day. Maryland shot 884 to finish third, eight strokes off the pace, with WCU (898) fourth and High Point in fifth with an even 900.
UTC's Agathe Sauzon claimed medalist honors by three-strokes over Campbell's Kaylin Yost, shooting three-under, 210, while Yost was even at 213. First-round leader, Sarah Bae of High Point, slipped to third at one-over par, 214.
Entering her final round tied for 12th overall, Swindell matched her best round of the event with a one-over par, 72, on Monday to finish the tournament at six-over, 219, advancing five positions with a three-round score which ranks tied for 10th in program history.
Swindell carded 11 pars, four bogies and three birdies in her final round on Tuesday. After opening even par through six holes - countering a bogey on the eighth with a birdie on No. 12 - Swindell endured back-to-back bogies on No. 13 and 14 to sit at two-over par with 10 holes to play. She birdied the par-5 18th before a bogey and birdie on consecutive holes on three and four to conclude the round at one-over par.
Behind Swindell, sophomore Taylor Allison finished tied for 17th, likewise moving up five positions in the final standings after opening the final 18 holes in a tie for 22nd overall. The Elizabeth City, N.C., native shot two-over 73 for the second-consecutive round for a career-best, 54-hole score of 222.
Allison played much of the day at even-par after matching a bogey on No. 11 by birdying the par-4 15th - a hole she had bogeyed in both rounds on Monday. A double-bogey on No. 1 and a bogey on the par-3 third left her at three-over before birdying the par-4, 411-yard fourth to move back to two-over par where she finished the round.
Freshman Olivia Landino continued her consistent play, carding a five-over, 76, for the third-straight round on Tuesday to finish tied for 33rd at 15-over par, 228. The Hermitage, Pa., product countered five bogies and a double-bogey on the par-4 sixth with a pair of pars in her third round.
Rounding out WCU's finishing order was sophomores Mariah Hopkins (37th, 230) and Kim Mitchell (63rd-t, 239). Hopkins fired a five-over par, 76, on Tuesday with two birdies against five scores over par including two double-bogies, advancing seven spots in the final standings. Mitchell moved up three spots in the final order with a 79, settling after four bogies among her first six holes to play nine-straight holes even-par before closing double-bogey, bogey and bogey.
Playing unattached as individuals, WCU's freshmen Bethany Galloway and Ashley Thompson finished tied for 65th and 73rd, respectively. The two managed to par 18 of their combined 36 holes on Tuesday with Galloway shooting 81 and Thompson finishing with a round of 82.
Western Carolina returns to action October 12-13 with the longest trip in program history. The Catamounts travel to Palm Desert, Calif., for the Cowgirl Desert Intercollegiate, hosted by the Univ. of Wyoming. WCU's trip to California marks the farthest west a Catamount women's golf team has ever ventured, surpassing the previous trips of Cordova, Ill., in the 2003-04 season and Baton Rouge, La., in the 2007 NCAA East Regional.