April 23, 2014
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane women's golf team added another trophy to its already extensive collection today, as the 30th-ranked (Golfweek) Green Wave captured the 2014 Conference USA Women's Golf Championship at the Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club in Gulf Shores, Ala.
Tulane led from wire-to-wire and claimed the sixth C-USA title in school history, including its fourth in the last six years (2009, 2010, 2013). The Green Wave combined for a 4-under 284 during today's final round and set the C-USA tournament record for the lowest 54-hole total with an 8-under 856. Tulane broke the previous record of 858, which was set by the Wave in 2010. The 856 was also the second-lowest total in school history.
Four of the Green Wave's five golfers shot par or better, including freshman Belen Goicoechea with a 2-under 70, while the duo of junior Gemma Dryburgh and sophomore Silvia Garces each fired a 1-under 71 and sophomore Emily Penttila finished even.
The Wave placed three golfers among the top five finishers, including Dryburgh (second), Penttila (third) and Goicoechea (fifth). All three golfers were named to the C-USA All-Tournament Team.
Garces earned a 16th place finish, while sophomore Madison Opfer was 22nd.
"One of our goals at the beginning of the season was to repeat as Conference USA Champions," Tulane head coach Lorne Don said. "We put ourselves into position to win and we performed well enough to reach our goal. It was a great round for us today. UTSA came with a late charge, but I thought the team performed very well down the stretch and made the shots and putts when they needed to. We have been working on our consistency for three rounds all season, so it was nice to finish with such a strong round today after playing so well the previous two days. I am very proud of the team and excited for our players to see all their hard work pay off with a championship today."
TU outdistanced second-place UTSA, while Middle Tennessee was third and FIU and Old Dominion each finished fourth. UTSA's Fabiola Arriaga claimed individual medalist honors.
Tulane has now won back-to-back league titles on three different occasions, including 2004-2005, 2009-2010 and 2013-2014, and Don became the fourth Green Wave coach to lead the team to a conference title, joining former coaches Sue Bower (1992-2005), John Thomas Horton (2008-2011) and Andrew Pratt (2011-13). Don joined Horton as the only TU coaches to win a C-USA title during their first season.
Since the program was re-launched in 2008-09, every Tulane golfer has been a part of a conference championship.
With the win, Tulane won the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals, which will be announced on Monday, April 28.
1 Tulane 281-291-284=856 (-8) 2 Gemma Dryburgh 68-72-71=211 (-5) 3 Emily Penttila 68-73-72=213 (-3) T5 Belen Goicoechea 73-73-70=216 (E) T16 Silvia Garces 75-74-71=220 (+4) T22 Madison Opfer 72-73-77=222 (+6)
1. Tulane (-8), 2. UTSA (+2), 3. Middle Tennessee (+15), T4. Old Dominion (+17), T4. FIU (+17), 6. East Carolina (+18), 7. Southern Miss (+30), 8. North Texas (+49), 9. Tulsa (+530), T10. UTEP (+55), T10. Marshall (+55), 12. UAB (+72), 13. FAU (+91)
Players Results (Top-10 only)
1. Fabiola Arriaga, UTSA (-9), 2. Gemma Dryburgh, Tulane (-4), 3. Emily Penttila, Tulane (-3), 4. Camino Sardinero, UTEP (-2), T5. Belen Goicoechea, Tulane (E), T5. Rachel Walker, Old Dominion (E), T7. Nico Engstroem Skaug, East Carolina (+1), T7. Taylor Newlin, UTSA (+1), T9. Avery George, Middle Tennessee (+2), T9. Elizabeth Haycock, Old Dominion (+2), T9. Devon Spriddle, Southern Miss (+2), T9. Fanny Wolte, East Carolina (+2)