By Sam Knehans, NAIA Communications
POOLER, Ga. — After entering the final round tied for first place, Northwood (Fla.) shot just the second sub-300 round of the 2015 NAIA Women’s Golf National Championships to claim its second national title (2003) in the 21-year history of the event. The University of Victoria VIkes women’s golf team finished in 14th place following four rounds of play with first-year rookie Brianna Carrels leading the team. Carrels finished tied in tenth-place individually and was named to the NAIA Championship All-Tournament team for her performance.
Carrels who led the Vikes in all four rounds of play finished tied in 10th, shooting 75 in her final round to finish with an overall score of 304, 16 over par. She jumped from her first round of competition placing of 14th place to tenth to be named to the All-Tournament team. Fourth-year Michaela Abey was the next highest finisher for the Vikes women, shooting an overall score of 318 to finish tied in 49th while fellow fourth-year Cari Chow improved from 92nd to 75th place with a final score of 333. Second-year Laura Ferreira and third-year Shannon Raina logged scores of 338 and 341 to finish tied in 81st and 86th place, respectively.
The Seahawks carded an 8-over par 296 in the final round to win the national crown by 22 strokes at Savannah Quarters Country Club in Pooler, Ga. Northwood was 59-over par as a team (1211, 308-301-306-296) for the championship, which is tied for the third-best 72-hole total in NAIA history—behind last year’s 1209 by Oklahoma City and SCAD Savannah (Ga.).
Elsa Westin led the way for the Seahawks, shooting 9-over par 297 (76-75-74-72) to be named the championship runner-up.
Julia McQuilken of Dalton State was named the championship individual medalist after shooting 4-over par 292 (74-70-71-77) for the tournament. Her 72-hole total is tied for second all-time with Megan Woodland of Victoria (B.C.) from 2012, one stroke behind SCAD Savannah’s Alazne Urizar’s championship total from 2014.
Teammates Urizar (78-71-75-74) and Sofia Molinaro (74-77-71-76) of SCAD Savannah tied for third overall at 10-over par 298, while Katie Warren of William Woods (Mo.) (77-73-75-75) placed fifth at 12-over par 300.
Behind Northwood, Dalton State (309-303-304-317), SCAD Savannah (308-308-311-306) and William Woods (305-307-316-305) tied for second place at 81-over par 1233. Cumberlands (Ky.), which began the day tied for first with the Seahawks, slipped to fifth overall at 82-over par 1234 (312-298-305-319).
This year’s national championships concluded with an awards ceremony that included the announcement of Northwood’s Brandon Miller as the 2015 NAIA Women’s Golf National Coach of the Year and the all-tournament team. The all-tournament consists of the top 15 individual finishers, including ties.
2015 NAIA Women’s Golf National Championships All-Tournament Team Julia McQuilken, Dalton State (Ga.)Elsa Westin, Northwood (Fla.) Alazne Urizar, SCAD Savannah (Ga.) Sofia Molinaro, SCAD Savannah (Ga.) Katie Warren, William Woods (Mo.) Caroline Griffin, Dalton State (Ga.) Caroline Retabi, Northwood (Fla.) Heather Shake, Houston-Victoria (Texas) Paulina Sekerkova, USC Beaufort (S.C.) Lauren Kruszewski, Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) Brianna Carrels, Victoria (B.C.) Kaitlyn Riley, Cumberlands (Ky.)Kat Kennedy, British Columbia Vanessa Chap, Cal State San
T-14 VICTORIA (324-312-319-330 : 1285)
T-10 Brianna Carrels (78-74-77-75 :304)
T-49 Michaela Abey (81-75-79-83 : 318)
T-75 Cari Chow (81-87-82-83 : 333)
T-81 Laura Ferreira (84-81-82-91: 338)
T-86 Shannon Raina (89-82 -81-89: 341)