Melecka uses late rally to earn medalist honors at Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown
Melecka uses late rally to earn medalist honors at Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown
Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Buccaneer junior captures second collegiate win

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Oct. 29, 2019) -- ETSU’s Tereza Melecka (Belcovice, Czech Republic) put a positive stamp on her fall season.

Melecka, who entered Tuesday’s final round of the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown four shots off the lead, used a late rally to earn co-medalist in the Buccaneers’ final tournament of the fall campaign from the Boulder Creek Golf Club.

The ETSU leader registered six birdies on the day, including ending the round with back-to-back birdies to catch UNLV’s Elina Saksa at 4-under-par 212 for the tournament. Melecka led the 96-player field in both par-3 (-3) and par-4 (E) scoring, while also tallying the second-most birdies in the tournament (13).

Melecka captured her second collegiate win – the first coming her freshman campaign at the Johnie Imes Invitational – thanks to matching the lowest round of the day at 4-under 68.  Melecka began the round with consecutive birdies on No. 12 and 13, before giving a shot back on the par-5, 540-yard No. 16. However, the Buccaneer standout continued putting pressure on Saksa by stringing together two straight birdies on No. 4 and 5, which kept her within two shots of the lead. With Saksa already in the clubhouse at four-under, Melecka needed to drain birdies on her final two holes to pull even with the Runnin’ Rebel golfer. After walking away with a  bogey on the par-4, 398-yard No. 9, Melecka knew what was at stake and rose to the challenge. The Buccaneer junior gave herself a chance for the win by collecting her fifth birdie of the day on the par-4, 340-yard No. 10 and then sank the tying birdie putt on her final hole to cap off the comeback. 

“My goal is to win each tournament and I am excited that I was able to accomplish that goal today,” said Melecka. “I really enjoyed playing this course. The first two days the course played hard because of weather, but today the wind calmed down and were given the opportunity to post some low scores. It  feels good to finish the fall season with a win and I hope to carry it into our spring season starting in February.”

“This was a great way to finish the fall season,” said head coach Stefanie Shelton. “As a team we were eight-under coming in, and then to have Tereza end the day with back-to-back birdie putts to earn the win was very exciting. Tereza has played her best golf this semester. She has remained steady and today showed how strong of a player she is. I am proud of our team.” 

Melecka and Saksa were the only two players in the field to finish with scores below par for the tournament as a trio of players finished tied for second at 2-over-par 218. 

As a team, ETSU posted the fourth-lowest round on Tuesday with an even-par 288 to move two spots up the leaderboard. Overall, the Blue and Gold – who placed 12th – had two players finish in the top-25 as redshirt sophomore Warda Amira Rawof (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) tied for 24th at 9-over-par 225. Rawof parred her final seven holes to card an even-par 72 in the final round. 

Like Melecka, junior Kornbongkoat Sararat (Nongkhai, Thailand) used a flurry of birdies to end on a strong note. Sararat birdied her final three holes en route to finishing with a 72 on Tuesday. Sararat and freshman Parkka Ijaz (Lahore, Pakistan) both registered eagles in the final round. Sararat’s came on the par-5, 508-yard No. 2 and Ijaz’s came on her final hole – the par-5, 502-yard No. 13. The Bucs and Fresno State were only two schools to have multiple eagles for the tournament. 

UNLV, the tournament host, won the team title by eight strokes over San Francisco and nine  shots over Long Beach State. The Runnin’ Rebels posted a 1-under 287 in the final round en route to finishing at 15-over-par 879. 

Tuesday marked the end of the Bucs’ fall season. ETSU returns to action by opening the spring campaign at the Reynolds Lake Oconee on Feb. 21. 

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