Photo by Brent Beerends/ MT Athletic Communications
The Middle Tennessee Lady Raider golf team fell just short of a three-peat in the Conference USA women’s golf championship, finishing in second place in the tournament at eight strokes behind the Old Dominion Lady Monarchs in Fort Meyers, FL.
The Lady Raiders were near the top until the final day, even leading heading into the final round.
Individually, sophomore Jenna Burris had the best tournament and finished atop the leaderboard at seven-under for the tournament, six strokes higher then the second place finisher.
Senior Samantha Gotcher finished in the top 20 on the individual leaderboard in her final tournament for the Lady Raiders. In her career, Gotcher helped lead the Lady Raiders to back-to-back C-USA titles in 2015 and 2016, and won first team all-conference as a junior.
Sophomore Hanley Long was the second highest finisher on the individual leaderboard, shooting six-over, a score that put her in the top ten on the individual leaderboard for the tournament.
Freshman Katherine Holmes shot 16-over in her first conference tournament and will be back next year with a full year of experience under her belt to provide depth on coach Chris Adams’ squad.
Junior Cynthia Bounleutay finished two strokes behind Holmes at 18-over and will be the lone senior on next year’s roster.
Lady Raiders in the hunt after day one
At the end of round one on Monday, Middle Tennessee made their way into the clubhouse in second place, just four strokes behind the Lady Monarchs.
Burris led the way for the Lady Raider’s by shooting a tournament leading five-under-par. Burris birdied seven holes on the day and was able to save par eight times.
Gotcher followed Burris for MT by shooting just two-over-par on the day. The girl they call “Stretch” only had blemishes on the par-five fifteenth and the par-four sixteenth, as she bogeyed both of those holes. Gotcher was able to save par on all 14 other holes.
No other player finished the round more then six-over-par and it kept the ladies firmly in place to make a run for things in round two.
MTSU climbs to the top of the leaderboard after round two
At the end of the second day, the Lady Raider’s passed ODU to claim the top spot on the leaderboard heading into the third and final round.
Burris again set the pace for the team in day two, firing a two-under-par score of 70 to end the day. Burris birdied four times and would save par for another 12.
Sophomore Hanley Long saw a huge improvement, climbing into the top ten on the individual leaderboards to start the final round. Long finished round two just one-over-par, a two stroke improvement over her round one total.
Burris would end the day at the top of the individual leaderboard with a total score of seven-under. She also became the tournament leader on par 4s and par 5s, finishing at four under par on each of them.
— Anthony Fiorella (@A_Fiorella74) April 19, 2017
The Lady Raider’s will begin summer workouts to get ready for their first tournament August. The Raiders will be returning five players from this year’s squad, including four of the five ladies that participated in the past week’s conference championship tournament.
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