The day started with three teams tied for first place, and at the end of the day only one stroke separated them.
Michigan State’s duo of Lindsey Solberg and Caroline Powers won the 2011 Hooters Women’s Collegiate Team Championship on Thursday afternoon at the Achasta Golf Club in Dahlonega. The Spartan pair finished the tournament at 12 under-par, just one shot better than Vanderbilt University’s Marina Alex and Laura Stratton and University of Virginia’s Elizabeth Brightwell and Portland Rosen.
Playing in the group behind the Spartan tandem, Vanderbilt and Virginia were the only teams with a chance to force a playoff. Virginia needed a birdie, and Vanderbilt needed to hold par to force a three-way playoff.
Michigan State’s Solberg said watching the other teams finish was one of the hardest parts of the whole tournament, “it’s always tough to watch when things are out of your control.”
The Commodores nor Cavaliers could capitalize on the opportunities they had as Vanderbilt bogeyed and Virginia shot par on the final hole.
Solberg and Powers wanted to make sure they stayed positive throughout the tournament
“We made a promise at the beginning of the week. We were not going to say ‘I’m sorry,’ to one another if we hit a bad shot,” said Powers, one of five female golfers chosen to represent the U.S. at the World University Games in China starting next week.
The two strayed away from making negative comments and wanted instead to turn negatives into positives.
“Birdies only come when you’re happy,” Solberg added.
She birdied three of her last five holes to lead the two on their back-nine surge.
Solberg and Powers finished the championship with an aggregate score of 143 on Thursday’s team-stroke event and a total of 276 for the three-day event.
The Hooters Women’s Collegiate Team Championship is the only tournament the competitors play in of its kind. It is unlike other NCAA events or other National Golf Coaches Association events in that the tournament combines a different scoring method each day.
Day one is an alternate-shot competition. Day two is a best-ball game, and the tournament finishes with a two-player, team-stroke event on day three.
Many players said they liked the format, making it one of their favorite tournaments.
The University of Iowa’s Chelsea Harris and Christie Cardwell carded the low round of the day, shooting a six-under-par 144. The strong finish put them in fourth place.
Grand Valley State’s Sarah Hoffman and Veronica Ryan shot a five-over-par 149 to finish the tournament at 10-over-par and capture the Division-II Championship.
In the Division-III Championship race Central College’s Sarah Paulson and Ali Miller came from behind to top DePauw University’s Taylor Beaty and Kelly Gaughan. Paulson and Miller shot a 12 over-par.
Tess Fordham and Buford graduate Abby Johnson of the University of Georgia finished twenty-sixth at seven over par, while North Georgia’s Casey Truelove and Erica Breeden finished 53rd.