- OKLAHOMA CITY – The 2019 NAIA women’s golf national championship will go down in history as a record setting week, capped off by a thrilling chase for multiple records on the tournament’s final day. When the dust settled on the competition, the University of British Columbia had ascended the mountain to claim its fifth national crown.
- British Columbia (1,175) fired a fourth sub-300 round and set a new tournament record for the third straight day as the Thunderbirds held off the Keiser University (Fla.) Seahawks (1,180) to claim the title. The teams shot identical rounds of 291 on the tournament’s final day, which preserved UBC’s five shot lead. SCAD-Savannah (Ga.) finished with a 292 to claim third at 1,190, Oklahoma City University fired a 293 and finished fourth at 1,195, and the University of the Cumberlands (Ky.) rounded out the top five with a round of 300 to finish the Championship at 1,204.
- Michela Tjan of Keiser claimed the individual title, also in record-setting fashion. She shot below par in each of her last three rounds, and she posted a 72-hole tournament record total of 284 (-4). Arvil Li of UBC also broke the even par barrier, posting a 287 (-1).
News and Notes
- The top seven individual finishers all broke the old 72-hole tournament record. In addition to Tjan, four other golfers laid claim to being the leader in the clubhouse with a record setting total – William Woods University’s Maria Zrodowska came in first with a 290, a mark which was later tied by Cumberland University’s Ana Laura Pages. Oklahoma City’s Melissa Eldredge later eclipsed that mark with a 289 (+1) to take the clubhouse lead until UBC’s Li turned in a 287 (-1) in the group prior to Tjan.
- Records also fell several times on the team side of things. Eight teams broke the previous record of 1,209, and a ninth team tied the record. Dalton State College (Ga.) (1,205) and Oklahoma City (1,195) each held the lead in the clubhouse while the lead groups were still on the course.
- In addition to the top-5 teams, Dalton State (Ga.), the University of Northwestern Ohio (1,206), and Cumberland University (Tenn.) (1,206) also broke the 72-hole team record. Loyola University (La.) (1,209) tied the previous mark.
- In total, seven of a possible eight record totals were set during the week. The only record that survived the tournament was the 36-hole individual record.
New and Notes
- The tournament was played to its 72-hole conclusion, snapping a 3-year string of championships which were shortened by weather.
- The title for British Columbia gives them five titles, and it pulls the Thunderbirds to within three of the all-time lead in team championships, which is held by Oklahoma City with eight.
- The top four teams all turned in sub-300 totals in the final round, as did Oregon Tech who shot a team total of 296 and finished in 10th place (1,210).
- The scoring records fell despite the competitors enduring 30-mile per hour sustained winds.
- Zrodowska was the lowest scoring individual in the event, as she finished in a tie for 5th, and she was one of three individuals to make the All-Tournament team.
- Faulkner University’s Hannah Sager was the only player to make the All-Tournament team who qualified for the Championship as an individual conference medalist. Sager finished in eighth at 291 (+3).
- Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) Aeronautical University’s Jessica Williams fired the lowest round of the day, and tied for the low round of the tournament, with a 67 in the final round to move into a tie for ninth place. Williams blistered the back nine with a 31 on holes 10-18.
- • Li (UBC), Paula Sofia Suarez (SCAD-Savannah), and Serra Evrengil (Keiser) all shot rounds of 69, bringing the total number of rounds in the 60s to seven for the Championship. All six players who shot a round in the 60s made the All-Tournament Team.
- Li chipped in from off the green for UBC on the 16th hole to all but seal the win for the Thunderbirds, who led the entire day.
- Among the 15 members of All-Tournament team, 12 institutions were represented. Only Keiser, British Columbia, and Northwestern Ohio had multiple representatives on the All-Tournament team.
Awards and Honors
- Michela Tjan – Keiser (Fla.)*
- Avril Lee – British Columbia
- Kate Johnston – British Columbia
- Melissa Eldredge – Oklahoma City
- Paula Sofia Suarez – SCAD-Savannah
- Ana Laura Pages – Cumberland (Tenn.)
- Maria Zrodowska – William Woods (Mo.)
- Hannah Sager – Faulkner (Ala.)
- Jessica Williams – Embry-Riddle (Ariz.)
- Caitriona Griffin – Northwestern Ohio
- Isabel Rijos – Dalton State (Ga.)
- Devaki Ganesh – Northwestern Ohio
- Daria Delfino – Loyola (La.)
- Carlee Shoemaker – Cumberlands (Ky.)
- Serra Evrengil – Keiser (Fla.)
- *- Individual Medalist and National Champion
Final Team Standings
1. British Columbia – 294-296-294-291; 1,175
2. Keiser (Fla.) – 297-296-296-291; 1,180
3. SCAD-Savannah (Ga.) – 302-294-302-292; 1,190
4. Oklahoma City – 287-319-296-293; 1,195
5. Cumberlands (Ky.) – 304-299-301-300; 1,204
6. Dalton State (Ga.) – 293-309-302-301; 1,205
T7. Northwestern Ohio – 302-301-303-300; 1,206
T7. Cumberland (Tenn.) – 304-305-296-301; 1,206
9. Loyola (La.) – 300-306-298-305; 1,209
10. Oregon Tech – 304-314-296-296; 1,210
11. William Carey (Miss.) – 298-313-300-304; 1,215
12. Taylor (Ind.) – 313-305-298-303; 1,219
13. Southeastern (Fla.) – 316-303-306-302; 1,227
14. William Penn (Iowa) – 315-309-301-304; 1,229
15. Texas Wesleyan – 301-321-300-310; 1,232
16. USC-Beaufort (S.C.) – 309-316-307-305; 1,237
17. SCAD-Atlanta (Ga.) – 312-315-308-313; 1,248