Just over a year ago, the Georgia Southern women’s golf squad had never played a match. Fast-forward 12 months and the Eagles seem like a team destined for a fast rise.
It was a bittersweet Tuesday for Georgia Southern at the Fall Invitational hosted by Charleston Southern University at Rivertowne Country Club. The Eagles saw a four-stroke lead vanish late in the third and final round. Georgia Southern missed out on its first ever tournament win as College of Charleston claimed a two-stroke win, but still had much to be proud of.
The Eagles’ second place finish was its best ever in tournament play and their overall score of just 7-over par for the tournament was easily an improvement over numbers from the inaugural season.
“I think we have a lot to be excited about,” GS coach Emily Kuhfeld said. “Our scores were good, but the thing is that no one was happy with them. I think that speaks to our potential. If we continue like this, we’ll be in a position to win again soon.”
A big reason for the Eagles’ team success came from two individual efforts.
Iben Hvass and Yeji Shin both carded three-day scores of 1-under par to tie for third place on the individual leaderboard. The duo combined to shoot under par in three of their six combined rounds and each carded a low round of 70.
Lauren Coe’s total of 6-over par was good enough for a tie for 13th-place as an individual.
Georgia Southern played its two rounds on Monday with some of the best ball-striking and scores that the program has ever seen. Conquering a challenging course and a solid field, the Eagles finished the day at just 1-over and in sole possession of the lead.
The Eagles continued their solid play on Tuesday, surrendering the lead to a hard-charging College of Charleston squad before retaking the advantage on the back nine. Georgia Southern led by as many as four strokes as its five-woman team played out the final few holes, but a few too many wayward shots saw the Eagles bleed out strokes as the Cougars stole away the win at the end.
“It was a new experience for us in a number of ways,” Kuhfeld said. “Just the team makeup is new. Half of the team wasn’t here last year. Sleeping on a lead was another thing that was a first for us.
“In the end, we tried hard. We knew it was close and just didn’t make enough shots. I think this will be a learning experience. This is a team full of leaders who will want to get us back here again and get that win.”
The Eagles won’t have to wait too long for another chance. In two weeks, Georgia Southern will head north to Lansing, Mich. as the Eagles take part Sept. 24-25 in the Mary Fossum Invitational hosted by Michigan State University.
Mike Anthony may be reached at (912) 489-9408.