VICTORIA – Inclement weather on the final day of competition cut the NAIA National Women’s Golf National Championship short, as lightning and rain pounded the PGA National Course in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. on May 25.
The weather forced the tournament to freeze after less than nine holes had been played on the day, meaning that the tournament, originally scheduled for 72 rounds, was shortened to 54. That decision means that the Vikes finish 12th in the nation, their best result since the team came ninth in 2010.
The Vikes 54-hole score of 969 was just behind William Carey (957) and William Penn (965), who finished in 11th and 10th respectively. SCAD – Savannah won the tournament running away, their total of 909 was 19 shots better than second-place William Woods.
Individually, the Vikes consistent play shone as their final standings spread from 22nd to 80th.
Fifth-year Vike Cadence Hellmann ended her NAIA career in style. Hellmann shot rounds of 74, 78 and 83, good enough for 22nd overall.
Rhiannon Jones was next on the leaderboard for the Vikes, her rounds of 81, 84 and 75 put the second-year from Kelowna, B.C. in 43rd.
Nicole Gargarella finished 69th, vaulting up the standings yesterday after rounds of 87, 84 and 78.
Melanie Murchison, rebounded from a tough opening round of 89 to finish with scores of 80 and 82 in 75th.
Third-year Quinn Fitzgerald finished in 80th after rounds of 83, 85 and 85.
After the tournament, Fitzgerald and Murchison were honoured for their efforts off the field by being named 2018 NAIA Women’s Golf Scholar-Athletes for maintaining a minimum GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, while being in at least their third year of eligibility.
Despite their final round being cut short, the Vikes won’t have to wait long to be back in action. They will return to north of the border to compete at the Canadian University National Championship being hosted in Chilliwack, B.C. on May 29 – June 1.
12th – VICTORIA (325-326-318: 969)
T22 – Cadence Hellmann (74-78-83: 235)
T43 – Rhiannon Jones (81-84-75: 240)
T69 – Nicole Gargarella (87-84-78: 249)
T75 – Melanie Murchison (89-80-82: 251)
80 – Quinn Fitzgerald (83-85-85: 253)