April 13, 2011
NINETY SIX, S.C. – Chanticleer sophomore Jessica Alexander won medalist honors and the Coastal Carolina women’s golf team captured the 2011 Big South Women’s Golf Championship Wednesday afternoon from The Patriot Golf Club.
It’s the fifth time in school history that Coastal Carolina has won the Big South Championship and the sixth time the Chanticleers have featured the individual medalist. Coastal Carolina last accomplished both feats when Aruka Felgueroso captured medalist honors in leading the Chants to the overall title in 2009.
With the win, Coastal Carolina clinches a berth in the 2011 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship, which begins with regional play on Thursday, May 5.
“I am extremely proud of the way our team played today,” Coastal Carolina head coach Katie Quinney said. “I thought that we struggled a little bit on 16 and 17 in the first two rounds, but we were able to respond today by shooting much better on those two holes, which was really where we were able to stretch our lead out. We’re really looking forward to regionals and finding out where we will be playing.”
Alexander, who entered the final day of the tournament tied for fourth place, shot a tournament-low 72 Wednesday in round three on her way to winning her first tournament of the year and posting her fifth top 5 finish of the season.
The Riverview, Fla., native turned in a very steady performance on Wednesday as she recorded two birdies and made par on 14 other holes. In fact, Alexander made par or had a birdie on every hole of the back nine.
She opened the event with a 75 in round one and recorded three birdies before tallying four birdies in round two en route to carding a 78 on Tuesday.
Alexander finished with an overall score of 225 and defeated both Hannah Hellyer of Gardner-Webb and Lauren Bernard of Bucknell by one stroke.
“Jessica played great today after having somewhat of a rough start over the first two days,” Quinney said. “She has been such an outstanding player and competitor for us this season and it’s great to see all of her hard work and dedication result in a Big South title.”
Sophomore Brittany Henderson finished in fourth place and earned her best finish of the season after carding an overall score of 227. Henderson opened the event with a 74 Monday in round one and followed that with a 78 Tuesday in round two. By finishng in fourth place, Henderson joined Alexander, Courtney Boe and Kaitlin Higginbotham on the All-Big South Team. Henderson earned a spot on the team based on her play over the course of the tournament.
The Smith Falls, Ontario, native had her best stretch of the tournament when she shot one-under par on the front nine in round two. Henderson had two birdies on the front nine of round three and made par on six holes of the back nine on her way to finishing fourth.
Boe improved her position two spots on Wednesday and finished the tournament tied for sixth place. Boe ended round one tied for 10th place after carding a 77, but moved up two spots on day two following her 79 on Tuesday.
The Bluffton, S.C., product had a bogey on three of the first five holes of the back nine on Wednesday, but rallied for birdies on the final two holes to claim her third top 10 finish of the season with an overall score of 232.
Higginbotham became the fourth Chanticleer to finish in the top 10 when she fired an overall score of 233 on her way to finishing tied for eighth place. Higginbotham started the tournament with a 75 Monday in round one, which included making par on the front nine before ending her day with a birdie on 18. She went on to post scores of 77 and 81 in the following two rounds and has finished ninth or better in two of the last three tournaments.
Senior Alicia Grier fired a 76 in round three for her best score of the tournament on her way to finishing tied for 16th with an overall score of 239. Grier birdied three holes on Wednesday and made par on five holes on the back nine.
Big South Women’s Championship
The Patriot Golf Club
Ninety Six, S.C.
Hosted by Winthrop University
Dates: April 11-13
1. Jessica Alexander (Coastal Carolina) 75-78-72=225
Coastal Carolina Scores
1. Jessica Alexander – 75-78-72=225
4. Brittany Henderson – 74-78-75=227
T6. Courtney Boe – 77-79-76=232
T8. Kaitlin Higginbotham – 75-77-81=233
T16. Alicia Grier – 81-82-76=239
1. Coastal Carolina – 301-312-299=912
2. Gardner-Webb – 316-306-308=930
3. Bucknell – 321-320-308=949
4. High Point – 321-314-318=953
T5. Winthrop – 321-325-312=959
T5. Radford – 321-320-318=959
7. Charleston Southern – 312-328-320=960
8. Presbyterian – 348-339-334=1021
9. Holy Cross – 354-355-354=1063