Heavy rains hindered second round play of the NAIA women’s golf national championships, held May 23-26 at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. The University of Victoria Vikes were able to finish up their second round play to move up in the team standings to 25th with a team score of 694 but the postponed rounds shortened the final cut to 36 holes and ultimately left the Vikes out of the top 17 final-round play.
“We are definitely disappointed even though we played a bit better overall in the second round,” said Vikes coach David Rands. “Sometimes you just have to ask yourself the simple questions like what helped and what didn’t help and put the work right into those areas.”
Fourth-year Ferreira bested her Round 1 score by two strokes, shooting 80 (+8) in her second round finish 46th. Ferreira was just two strokes shy of making the individual Top 40 cut. Jones improved in her second round by 11 strokes, shooting an 82 (+10) on Day 2 to cumulate a two-round total of 175.
Vikes Hannah Diamond and Melanie Murchison both had a two-round score of 181. Diamond carded a 90 (+18) for Round 2, while Murchison shot 91 (+19). Second-year Vike Nicole Gargarella finished her second round with a 94 (+22).
After facing gusty winds of approximately 15-30 mph throughout the day, approaching weather forced a delay and an eventual postponement of Wednesday’s second round. The postponement did not allow all of the teams teeing off in the afternoon wave to finish their rounds. The teams that did not complete the second round continued Thursday.
“We have to sum this one up as a good experience, though it was very frustrating,” said Diamond. “I felt like I came into the week ready to go but playing on the different grass and conditions proved very challenging and something that myself and the rest of the team was unfamiliar with.”
First-round leaders Oklahoma City have still yet to finish their second round and the same is true for South Carolina Beaufort who are on their heels. Third-placed Embry Riddle finished two rounds with a team score of 629 (+53).
The individual leader board is topped three golfers who were able to finish their second round, Kaitlyn Riley of Cumberlands, Tia Teiniketo of Dalton State and Jessica Williams of Embry Riddle, as well as Indiana Tech’s Courtney Dye who still has five holes to play. All four lead the field of 161 with scores of 150 (+6).
Although the Vikes will wrap it up in Florida the team will have a quick turnaround as they head immediately to Barrie, Ont. for the Canadian University/College championships, hosted by Golf Canada, May 29 to Jun. 1 at Tangle Creek Golf and Country Club.
“”Even with a few days of practice we couldn’t make the adjustments required to perform to the level that we as a team are working towards,” added Diamond. “I think that the entire team is looking forward to getting back on to Canadian soil next week for the Canadian championship and playing to win.”
25 – Victoria: 351-351 : 702
T-57 Laura Ferreira (82-82: 164)
T-114 Nicole Gargarella (88-88: 176)
T-127 Melanie Murchison (90-90: 180)
T-132 Hannah Diamond (91-91: 182)
T-140 Rhiannon Jones (93-93: 186)