From Arkansas State University
The Arkansas State women's golf team collected its best finish of the season Tuesday at the ORU Shootout, claiming runner-up honors at the two-day tournament, which featured 14 teams, with a combined 923 that was its lowest three-round score of the season.
A-State shot a 612 for the first 36 holes played yesterday to take a five-stroke advantage over Redlands into today's competition, but the Cougars posted a final-round 304 to ASU's 311 to edge the Red Wolves by two strokes. ASU finished four strokes ahead of third-place UTEP, ranked among the top 70 teams in the nation by GolfWeek.com. The Red Wolves also defeated Oral Roberts, Lamar and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, all teams that entered the tournament ranked ahead of ASU.
ASU opened play with a 316 that placed them fifth, but cut 20 strokes off that total in the second round to climb to the top of the leaderboard. The Red Wolves' second-round 296 was not only the lowest score of the tournament, but also the lowest by A-State since posting a 292 at their first tournament of the 2010-11 season.
While it was ASU's first top-three finish of the young season, it was the Red Wolves fifth under second-year head coach M.J. Desbiens.
"We're obviously disappointed that we weren't able to pull out first place, but I thought it was a pretty good tournament overall," said Desbiens. "I think shooting a (second-round) 296 really showed our strength as a team, and we had some some really strong individual finishes again. I think we showed a lot of mental toughness and that's what we've been working on. We definitely handled our course management better, so that was encouraging as well."
All six competing ASU golfers picked up their best finish of the season, including four who finished among the top-20 individual leaders. Jennifer Welch shot a season-best 227 (76-76-75) and finished tied for sixth place to lead the Red Wolves while recording her second top-20 finish of the year.
Anna Carling and Jennifer Loiacano both shot a 233 to end the tournament in a tie for 15th place. Carling shot a season-best 73 and collected her second top-25 finish of the year. Loiacano shot a career-best 71, which was the lowest single-round score by an ASU player at the tournament.
Courtney Manning ended the tournament tied for 20th place with a combined 236, including a low round of 76 that matched her best score of the year.
Sarah Landry and Jelena Latinovich, who competed as an individual, finished tied for 39th place with a 242.
A-State returns to action Oct. 17-18 when it hosts the Lady Red Wolf Invitational.
ARKANSAS STATE RESULTS
Place, Name (RD 1-RD 2-RD 3--TOTAL)
2, Arkansas State (316-296-311--923)
T6, Jennifer Welch (76-76-75--227)
T15, Anna Carling (80-73-80--233)
T15, Jennifer Loiacano (86-71-76--233)
T20, Courtney Manning (78-76-82--236)
T39, Sarah Landry (82-80-80--242)
*T39, Jelena Latinovic (82-78-82--242)