Courtesy: Alabama State Sports Information
ALEXANDRIA, La. – The Alabama State women’s golf team captured its third consecutive Southwestern Athletic Conference championship Tuesday at Links On The Bayou Golf Course.
The Lady Hornets shot 295 during the final round for a tournament score of 602 to win the SWAC title for the fourth time in five years and earn the league’s automatic NCAA Tournament berth.
“A total of 295 is a very good score on most levels of women’s golf, and we were able to shoot that number today,” said Alabama State head coach Dr. Gary Grandison, who earned SWAC Women’s Golf Coach of the Year honors for the third straight year. “I’m so proud of the way they handled themselves. They stayed in the moment regardless of what our competitors did.”
Chanelle Avaricio shot three-under par 69 to shoot one-under par 143 for the tournament to take low medalist honors and was the only golfer to have an under par round and shoot under par for the tournament.
“She’s been preparing for this moment,” Dr. Grandison said. “We’re a mature team, but a relatively young as a team (with only one senior Mia Campbell on the roster). Chanelle has the poise of an upperclassman. We can continue to build on not just her but many of the members on our team on what they’ve learned this year. We’re only going to get better.”
Avaricio earned first team honors along with teammates Dismary Marquez (t-third) and Janelle Kraakman (t-fifth). Sylvia Masango and Mia Campbell (t-seventh) earned all second-team All-SWAC honors as all five Lady Hornets earned all-conference honors.
Avaricio birdied three of the final four holes Monday to add to her confidence heading into today’s final round. She got off to a fast start, birding the par-five first hole, along with the par-three sixth and par-five 13th to go along with 15 pars in a bogey-free round.
“I was the thinking the entire round to never give up until the last put,” said Avaricio of what she learned Monday that carried over into Tuesday. “Even if I hit a bad shot, I just continued to stay focused to finish the round and finish strong. It means a lot to shoot under par. The course was tough, but I was really happy to shoot under par.”
Marquez shot 152 (76-76), one shot ahead of Kraaakman’s 153 (78-75). Masango (79-77) and Campbell (81-75) each shot 156 to complete the scoring.
The Lady Hornets return to action this weekend in the Women’s Collegiate Golf Championship in Atlanta. The NCAA Tournament Selection Show is Monday at 5 p.m. live on Golf Channel.
“Our continued success means our winning is not a fluke,” Dr. Grandison said. “God has allowed to not only represent Alabama State University but Him as well. So I give God the glory for giving us the opportunity to work with these young ladies.”