NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. (April 11, 2012) – ETSU freshman Gabriella Wahl (Heidenheim, Germany) put her name in the record books on Wednesday at the Atlantic Sun Conference Women’s Golf Championships, but her team was unable to do the same.
Wahl captured the conference individual title by overcoming Mercer’s Lacey Fears on the second hole of a sudden death playoff at the Venetian Bay Golf Club. Both players ended the 54-hole tournament at 3-under-par 213, however Wahl ultimately joined former ETSU standout Laura Jansone (Jurmala, Latvia), who captured the 2008 and 2010 titles, as an A-Sun individual medalist.
“I am very happy with the way I played this week,” said Wahl, who also won a tournament title just two weeks ago at the John Kirk/Lady Panther Intercollegiate and finished the season with back-to-back individual honors. “In the first round I could feel all parts of my game coming together physically, and then during the whole tournament my mental game was very much the way I always want it to be.”
ETSU head coach Stefanie Shelton said Wahl’s efforts both today and during the entire season were inspiring.
“Gabriella earned this win with her fight and her hard work throughout the year,” Shelton said. “She is a great player and I am very proud of her.”
While Wahl was reaching an individual goal, her Buccaneer teammates put together a strong effort but were unable to overcome a record-setting performance by the Kennesaw State Owls. Despite posting the low team round Wednesday with a 293, ETSU managed to make up just two strokes on the day, ultimately finishing four strokes back of KSU.
The Owls – who set the conference record for individual round score with a 284 in Tuesday’s second round – used that performance to power to the team title and hold off the Bucs, who actually got within two strokes of KSU midway through the round but were unable to complete the rally.
Shelton said she was pleased with her team’s performance and was disappointed the Bucs’ season was coming to an end.
“Our team gave its all today and played with confidence until the very end,” said Shelton, whose team looked on as the Owls placed four players in the Top 11. “Kennesaw had a great day yesterday, and even though we beat them today and in the first round, their total score still bested us. We are peaking and playing our best golf of the year right now, so it’s unfortunate that we won’t be able to continue. But we plan to bottle up this confidence and bring it to the start of the fall season.”
Along with Wahl, the Bucs got other strong efforts on the day, as senior Mayte Vizcarrondo (Cadiz, Spain) carded the team’s low round with a 2-under-par 70 to finish sixth on the leaderboard. Meanwhile, both Wahl and junior Chloe Garner (Somerset West, South Africa) posted strong rounds of 1-over 73.
Sophomore Sian Evans (Gillingham, England) struggled a bit on Wednesday, but still finished tied for seventh and enjoyed a solid performance overall at the championships.
For more on ETSU women’s golf throughout the offseason, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women’s golf link.