KIAWAH ISLAND, SC – With rain, wind, and chilly temperatures in the forecast for the final round of the Tusculum/Kiawah Island Intercollegiate, Sunday's scores were not what they were on Saturday and neither the team nor individual leader was able to hold on at the top. With Armstrong State able to count a 78 and a 79, the Pirates overcame Florida Southern to win the team title by three strokes, while West Alabama's Jessica Smyth grabbed medalist honors by one stroke.
Although Florida Southern was denied its fifth championship at Kiawah Island, it's still the seventh time in the last 10 years the Moccasins have finished first or second in this event.
Florida Southern had turned in a 305 Saturday to take a 6-stroke lead over Armstrong State, but their positions were reversed Sunday. The Pirates out-shot the Moccasins 318-327, and were one of only three teams to have two golfers break 80. The day's best score was a 77, which belonged to Elizabeth England of Carson-Newman and Ansley Vaughan of Converse, neither of whom placed among the top-10.
The Moccasins' best score was a 78 from freshman Madison Wetzel, but it was sophomore Abbey Williams who was their best golfer overall with a 2-day total of 156 (76-80). Williams became the 15th Moccasin golfer in the last 10 years to place in the top-five in the Tusculum Intercollegiate, and senior Colleen Panosian was only one stroke behind her with a 157 (75-82). Williams was tied for fifth and Panosian was tied for 11th, representing the best finish for either Moccasin golfer in their college careers.
Armstrong's 2-round team score was 629, with Florida Southern shooting a 632, and Lincoln Memorial shooting a 642 for third place. West Alabama (643) and North Carolina-Pembroke (646) completed the top-five in the 16-team tournament.
Smyth claimed the individual trophy by carding a 78 on Sunday, which gave her a total score of 152. That was one stroke better than Pamela Mosley of Armstrong State, and three better than Abbey Hartsell of Lenoir-Rhyne and LeAnn Domitrovits. Mosley and Hartsell had been tied for the lead after round one, but each golfer shot at least an 80 in round two.
Only 15 of the 85 golfers in the tournament had scores in the 70's on Sunday after 24 did so on Saturday. Of those 24, exactly half were at 77 or better, equaling the best score on Sunday.
Florida Southern's next tournament will be February 22 and 23 when it comes home to host the Lady Moc Classic at Grasslands Golf and Country Club.