KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (February 27, 2018) -- On a day when sub-par scores were tough to come by, ETSU continued its march up the leaderboard on the third and final day of the Edwin Watts Classic.
The Bucs posted a team total of 302 on Tuesday, tied for 5th-best out of the field of 43 squads. The strong finish vaulted ETSU up seven spots to 9th in the final standings in their first event of the 2018 spring season, after the Bucs found themselves 24th after the opening round on Sunday.
No team was able to shoot par or better on Tuesday, after it happened four times over the first two days. Only one player got under par in the final round, a contrast from Sunday and Monday, when 25 scores dipped into the red numbers.
Sunny skies greeted the players and the high temperature reached the low 60s. But strong winds out of the northeast, with gusts upwards of 25 mph, drove up the scores on par-72, 5964-yard Osprey Point Golf Club (and led to a small craft advisory for boaters in the coastal region).
“I was pleased with today’s round, since conditions were extremely tough,” said ETSU head coach Stefanie Shelton. “The girls really battled the winds and posted a solid score. We would’ve liked to have finished higher, but now that we’re started on the spring season I’m looking forward to our team getting a chance to compete again.”
Hee Ying Loy (Johor, Malaysia) again led ETSU with a 1-over par 73, tying her for the 4th-best individual round of the day. Her three-day total of 1-over 217 raised her to a tie for 9th on the leaderboard and was the best showing out of 20 Southern Conference players at the tournament.
The reigning Southern Conference Player of the Year started Tuesday on the back nine and was as high as +4 after a bogey on the par-4 5th. But she responded with three straight birdies and just missed another on her final hole.
Loy’s ascension up the leaderboard came as she tries to increase her chances of qualifying for the Arnold Palmer Cup. She was 14th in the International standings in the most recent standings on February 22, with updated rankings due out March 8. Team rosters will be finalized on March 15.
Loy tied for 8th in par-4 scoring (4.04) at the Edwin Watts, and her 12 birdies tied her for 2nd-most.
Kornbongkoat Sararat (Nongkai, Thailand) fired a 2-over par 74 that was the Bucs’ 3rd-best showing of the tournament. She closed with a flourish, going 1-under par after the turn, and her performance moved her into the top half of the leaderboard. Sararat moved up 52 spots from 144th to a tie for 92nd out of a field of 217.
Tereza Melecka (Belcovice, Czech Republic) carded a 77 to wind up at 227. She ended up tied for 58th, 16 spots better than where she started the day. For the tournament, the freshman dropped in 37 pars, tied for 17th in that category.
Ankita Kedlaya (Bangalore, India) rounded out the Bucs’ team scoring Tuesday with a 78, putting her at 230 for the tournament and in a tie for 87th. Yeji Ahn (Chang Won City, South Korea) shot an 86.
The Bucs’ next tournament of the spring is the Augusta Invitational in Augusta, Ga. The three-day event tees off on Friday, March 16.
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