FOUR IN A ROW: NSU Wins NCAA Women's Golf Title Yet Again
Nova Southeastern overcame a grueling par-72, 6,283 yard Persimmon Ridge Golf Course to win its fourth straight NCAA Division II Women's Golf Championship on Saturday. Abbey Gittings also became the third consecutive individual champion from NSU.
The Sharks finished atop the 12-team field to win the tournament with a collective score of +82 (308-306-315-305—1,234), 20 strokes ahead of runner-up Florida Southern. The Sharks entered Saturday's final round with a nine-stroke lead over the Moccasins. Gittings' four-round tally of +10 (72-75-78-73—298) was two strokes better than Meghan Moore of UNC-Pembroke, who finished at +12 (75-75-78-72—300).
"What can you really say, four national championships in four years is an amazing accomplishment,” said Director of Athletic Michael Mominey. “This championship may be the most special, simply because of the pressure of graduating four seniors from last year’s team and the changing of the head coach. Head Coach Amanda Brown deserves much of the credit, as she has done an unbelievable job in just her first year. The team has faced more adversity than any before, and for that, this championship is very, very special."
“This feels awesome,” said Brown after the victory. “We had to overcome a lot of obstacles to get to this point. We have had only four players in the spring, and each player has overcome injuries to reach this point.”
Gittings, who was suffering from a back injury throughout the tournament, came out on the final day of competition and carded a one-over 73 to move up from second, where she started the round. She had a solid finish to her championship round, carding two birdies and two par in the final four holes to solidify her spot at the top of the leaderboard and earn her crown as the 2012 NCAA Individual National Champion.
“I could not be more proud of each girl on this team, and I am very proud of Abbey winning individually,” commented Brown. “She’s had that goal since last year, and she has been so determined in every practice and every tournament. I am just so proud that she was able to reach it.”
“On 14 I told Abbey that Moore was in the clubhouse tied with her at +12, and I think it pushed her through the rest of the round,” said Brown. “She was able to birdie 15 and 16 and then hit a great up and down on 17 for par, giving her the edge.”
Liliana Cammisa matched Gittings' one-over 73 score on Saturday, posting her best 18-hole score of the tournament to finish in a tie for third with teammate Daniela Ortiz. Cammisa finished with a score of 301 (76-76-76-73—301). She played a steady round of golf, registering a pair of birdies on the front nine before ending her tournament with seven pars on the final nine holes. Ortiz also holed a pair of birdies in her last round to go with 10 pars. Her final round score of 77 brought her overall tally to 301 (73-72-79-77—301).
The lone senior on the Sharks’ 2012 roster, Claudia Wolf matched her tournament’s best score, shooting a 10-over 82 to finish the tournament tied for 44th with a combined score of 334 (87-83-82-82—334). Wolf birdie the fifth hole and ended her tournament with three pars on the final three holes.
“We made it a goal in the beginning of the year to win the national championship, and it feels great to have accomplished that goal,” commented Brown. “This was the most challenging win for me as a coach in my career. We appreciated the opportunity to play at Persimmon Ridge this week. It is a great course.”
The Sharks become only the second team in the history of the DII women’s golf championship to win four straight titles. Rollins accomplished the feat from 2003-06, with the 2006 title coming in a weather-shortened tournament. The Sharks are now tied with Florida Southern with four championships, trailing only Rollins who has five. NSU, FSC and Rollins have combined to win 13 straight NCAA DII women's golf championships since 2000.