Second Straight Top-Five Finish for Higgins Helps Florida Southern Finish Second in the Battle at Old South

Tori Higgins
Tori Higgins

BLUFFTON, SC – Tori Higgins shot a team-best two-over par 74 on Sunday, and the Moccasins got a 75 from Amanda Gartrell, but the 5th-ranked Florida Southern women's golf team was unable to hold onto its first-round lead and finished one shot behind No. 16 Lee (TN) in the Battle at Old South.

The Moccasins took a four-shot lead over the Flames into the second round, but the teams reversed positions from Saturday, with the Flames the only team to break 300 on both days of the tournament. Their 299 on Sunday was five shots better than Florida Southern and allowed them to win by a single stroke. Lee had four double-bogeys among its four counters, but the Mocs had to count two triples in their score.

The Moccasins still had enough to hold off North Georgia and No. 6 Saint Leo for second though, finishing four shots ahead of the Night Hawks and eight in front of the Lions. Flagler, which is ranked No. 11, placed fifth and was 10 shots behind Florida Southern.

Higgins' 74, which included birdies on two of her final four holes, allowed her to finish fifth in the player standings with a two-day total of one-over par 145. It's her second top-five finish in as many tournaments this season, and she was not only the Moccasins' top performer in the Battle at Old South, she was the best in the Sunshine State Conference among the 17 players competing. Gartrell, who parred 15 of her 18 holes on Sunday, used her second-round 75 to tie for 11th with a total score of 149 (+5).

Flagler's Pauline Tainton won the individual title with a three-under par 141 that included rounds of 70 and 71. She wasn't the only golfer to break par in both rounds though. Haverly Harrold from Lee also did so, shooting a pair of 71s to finish one stroke behind Tainton with a two-under par 142. North Georgia's Megan Sabol and Columbus State's Anna Meleshkina tied for third at even-par 144, with Higgins alone in fifth at 145.

Loren Perez had a 77, and Shelby Lewis and Nathalie Svensson each shot a 78. Perez tied for 17th with an overall score of 151 (+7) after tying for fifth in the tournament with 27 pars. Lewis and Svensson tied for 22nd with a 152 (+8). Florida Southern was the only one of the 17 teams competing that had all five of its golfers even in the top-30, with Lee's fourth and fifth golfers tying for 35th.

The Moccasins also had one player competing as an individual, with Hanna Rizzolo posting scores of 77 and 78 to tie for 37th out of 90 golfers.

Florida Southern's next tournament is October 8-9 in Palm Beach Gardens at the Shark Invitational hosted by Nova Southeastern.