April 20, 2011
CORPUS CHRISTI - Senior Stine Pedersen got up and down on the third playoff hole on Wednesday at the 2011 Southland Conference Women's Golf Championships to earn individual medalist honors and help Lamar University finish second in the 54-hole event.
UTSA freshman Fabiola Arriaga sunk a 20-foot putt on the 18th green to force a tie with Pedersen. Both players bogeyed the first playoff hole and parred the second to set up the final hole on the par-72, 6,098-yard Corpus Christi Country Club. Pedersen's drive found the trees on the 342-yard par-four third, and she had to punch out to the fairway on her second shot.
From 95 yards, Pedersen hit a smooth wedge into the green that almost went in on the fly before settling four feet below the hole. When Arriaga couldn't get up and down from a greenside bunker, Pedersen stood over the winning putt. There was never a doubt as she pumped her fist when it dropped in to give her the victory, the first of her collegiate career.
"I definitely thought I hit a good ball from the fairway," said Pedersen. "I was looking at it and it was right on it. I was just hoping I'd hit the right club.
"I was nervous standing over the putt, but I just tried to stay calm, take a good stroke and make it."
Pedersen becomes the third Lady Cardinal to win individual medalist honors at the SLC Tournament, joining Hillary Zeigler (2005) and Therese Nilsson (2006).
The Lady Cardinals led the eight-team event by nine strokes after day one, but UTSA was able to take a seven stroke lead into Wednesday's action. LU could not make up any strokes on the final round as UTSA and the Lady Cards each shot 297 for the day as a team.
"It was a great finish for us," said LU head coach Brian White. "Two of the three days we shot the lowest round and we really should have won. Yesterday (Tuesday) we just had a bad day and let it get away from us. We always want to win, but they came through today and it just wasn't enough. I would take what they shot today every time."
UTSA won its first ever SLC women's golf title with a three-round team total of 900. The Lady Cards took second with a 907 total, followed by last year's champion Texas State in third at 925 and host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in fourth at 930.
The bottom half of the field was led by Sam Houston State in fifth with a 941 total, followed by Central Arkansas (954), McNeese State (962) and Stephen F. Austin (977).
Pedersen opened and closed her final collegiate tournament with identical 73s. She added a 77 on day two to finish with a three round total of 223 (+7). The big hole for Pedersen on the final day turned out to be the par-five 15th.
Trailing by a stroke on the 15th tee box, Pedersen managed to get up and down for birdie from 50 yards. Arriaga three-putted from 20 feet for a bogey to give Pedersen a one stroke lead and set up the theatrics on the 18th green.
LU sophomore Julie Aime tied for 10th place in the 40-player field after shooting 75-80-75=230 (+14). Senior Ashley Thorpe opened with a 73 and was tied for the first round lead. She followed with a 79 on day two, but managed only an 80 in the final round, finishing tied for 14th in her final collegiate tournament at 16-over par.
Junior Sarah Nicholas had the second best round for Lamar on Wednesday with a 74. Despite an 85 on Tuesday, Nicholas was able to tie for 18th at 235 (+19).
Freshman Katelyn McDougal tied for 23rd, but came through in big way over the final two rounds. McDougal opened with an 87, but rebounded with a 77 and a 75 to finish at 239 (+23).