GREENEVILLE, Tenn. - (Team Results | Individual Results) British Columbia captured the 2012 NAIA Women's Golf National Championship on Friday at Link Hills Country Club. The title is the fourth in program history for the Thunderbirds, and is their second in the last three years, after capturing the crown in 2010.
"We're just elated and surprised," British Columbia head coach Chris MacDonald said. ""We expected to be competing against some different teams, but then we ran up against SCAD-Savannah (Ga.), who were just courageous out there. We literally played head-to-head with them for three days. I've never been through anything like that before where it was so close the entire [tournament]."
"It could've gone either way. We knew we couldn't just win this tournament on talent alone, it had to take a good game plan, and the girls just embraced it. Every shot, they just went for it."
British Columbia finished play with an overall score of 1211 (+43), bettering a 1213 (+45) posted by SCAD by just two shots, as both wrestled with the lead back-and-forth all day long.
The tournament was ultimately decided when British Columbia's Kylie Barros posted an even-par score of 73, bettering her partner in her group, SCAD's Becky Tetrick by two shots. The Thunderbirds then hung onto the two shot lead in their final grouping of the afternoon to capture the national title, as freshman Stephanie Wong sunk a par putt on the final hole of the tournament to clinch it.
Across the team leaderboard, SCAD was the runner-up with their 1213 total, as Alazne Urizar paced the Bees on the final day with an even par round of 73. Rounding out the top four was Embry-Riddle (Fla.), who posted a final total of 1215 (+47), and William Woods (Mo.), who placed fourth with a score of 1224 (+56). The Owls were paced by Jamie Palermo, whose 72-hole total score of 295 (+3) tied a William Woods women's and men's golf program low for a 72-hole event.
In the individual race, Victoria's (B.C.) Megan Woodland hung on, firing a four-day total score of 292 (even) and an even par round of 73 in the final round to capture individual medalist honors. Woodland held off Oklahoma Christian's Anna Arrese Cortadellas, (293 total, +1), clinching the tournament with a par on her final hole of the day, the par five ninth.
"This feels amazing," Woodland said. "I really couldn't believe it for a little while. It's everyone's goal to win one of these tournaments, and it was really nice to come in and play steady all week. It was great to achieve what I came here for, I'm really happy."
Around the individual leaderboard, Palermo finished third, while Oklahoma City's Jessica Schiele placed fourth (296 total, +4), while Barros and Embry-Riddle's Connie Pitenis tied for fifth (297 total, +5).
For his efforts, British Columbia's MacDonald was named the 2012 NAIA-Women's Golf Coaches Association Coach of the Year. The top 15 individuals on the leaderboard also earned 2012 All-Tournament Team honors. The entire team is listed below.
Megan Woodland, Victoria (B.C.)
Anna Arrese Cortadellas, Oklahoma Christian
Jamie Palermo, William Woods (Mo.)
Jessica Schiele, Oklahoma City
Kylie Barros, British Columbia (B.C)
Connie Pitenis, Embry-Riddle (Fla.)
Fabys Barreto-Guzman, Embry-Riddle (Fla.)
Becky Tetrick, SCAD-Savannah (Ga.)
Stephanie Wong, British Columbia (B.C.)
Danielle Bellet, Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)
Jessica Layman, Bethel (Ind.)
Jessica Macphee, Thomas (Ga.)
Pauline Schopp, Shorter (Ga.)
Nikki Stewart, SCAD-Savannah (Ga.)
Alazne Urizar, SCAD-Savannah (Ga.)