FORT MYERS, Fla. – MTSU’s women’s golf team delivered an impressive performance at the Conference USA Championship, leading from beginning to end as the Blue Raiders captured their first-ever conference title at the Verandah Club Wednesday.
The title also provided MTSU with its first-ever NCAA Regional bid.
The second-seeded Blue Raiders finished the tournament at 7-under par, giving them an eight-stroke win over first-seeded Florida International, who finished 1-over. Overall, MTSU shot an 857 for the tournament.
In the final round on Wednesday, MTSU shot 1-over, which was more than enough after its scores from the previous two rounds. MTSU shot a 1-under in the first round, followed by a 7-under in the second round. The 7-under second round was the lowest round in program history and the history of the C-USA Championship.
MTSU led the tournament in pars with 183. They finished third in birdies with 44. They recorded the best scores of any school on Par 4″s (+14) and Par 5’s (-1).
Samantha Gotcher dominated the first two rounds of the individual leaderboard. She shot a career-low 68 (-4) in the first round, which at the time was the lowest round ever recorded by a Blue Raider in a conference championship.
However, she managed to outdo herself in the second round, scoring a 67 (-5) to beat her record from the first round. After two rounds, she held a six-stroke lead over FIU’s Meghan MacLaren.
While it seemed like Gotcher couldn’t be overtaken, MacLaren fired off a final round 65 (-7) to overtake Gotcher and win the individual competition at 10-under. MacLaren’s 65 set a C-USA Championship single-round record. Her final total of 206 also set a C-USA Championship 54-hole record.
Gotcher shot an even-par (72) in the final round to finish one stroke behind MacLaren at 9-under.
Avery George finished tied for fourth after shooting 3-under for the tournament. She shot rounds of 72, 70 and 71, respectively.
Emily Williams finished tied for ninth. She shot an even-par for the tournament, finishing with rounds of 73, 72 and 71.
Allie Knight came in at 9-over for the tournament, placing her tied for 28th. In the final round, she shot a 3-over 75. She shot a 74 and a 76 in the first two rounds, respectively.
Emily Miller was the lowest Blue Raider on the final leaderboard. She finished tied for 36th with a final score of 12-over. She tallied a final round 79 (+7) on Wednesday. She shot a 77 +5) in the first round and a 72 (E) in the second round.
Gotcher and Williams finished tied for the most pars in individual play with 40.
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