McKew Leads Moccasins on Day One of Ross Resorts Invitational

Shannon McKew
Shannon McKew

SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. – Fifth-year senior Shannon McKew led Florida Southern with a first-round 79, and junior transfer Anna Millet matched that score in the second as the Moccasins opened the 2016-17 season at the Ross Resorts Invitational at Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club.

In Monday's first round, the Moccasins had a team score of 324, led by McKew's 79. Junior Abbey Williams, who joined McKew as an individual qualifier at last year's NCAA South Super Regional, had an 81, and senior Britta Bernth had an 83. The returning veterans were joined by freshmen Amanda Gartrell and Victoria Cangero, who turned in scores of 81 and 83 respectively.

Florida Southern also fielded a "B" team in the tournament, with sophomore Madison Wetzel leading them with an 81, and junior Kolby McWilliams shooting an 83. Sophomores Marisa Boccabella (84) and Tori Higgins (88), and Millet (88) completed the "B" team lineup.

McKew's 79 put her in a tie for 20th place after one round, with Williams, Gartrell and Wetzel tied for 27th in the field of 62 golfers. Lynn's Jenny Ayala stood alone in first place with a two-under par 70, putting her one stroke ahead of Lexie Toth from Rollins. Two other golfers, Paige Lyle from Rollins and Caroline Moore from Lee (TN), shot even-par 72 in the first round.

With a 71 and 72 among its counters, Rollins was able to open up a 6-shot lead over Lee (299-305), and a 7-shot lead over third-place Lynn. The defending national champions also counted a 77 and 79 and were one of three teams to have all four counters in the 70's in round one.

Another was Nova Southeastern, playing its first tournament under former Florida Southern golfer Heather Burgner. The Sharks, however, had a 76 from their best counter, while Toth (71) and Lyle (72) each had better scores for Rollins. That left the Sharks in fourth place, trailing the Tars by nine shots. Barry also had four counters in the 70's, but the Bucs' best score was a 77, and they finished round one in fifth place, 12 shots behind the Tars.

West Florida was sixth with a 315, and Florida Southern was seventh with s 324.

In the second round, Millet was Florida Southern's top golfer with a 79, while McKew and Gartrell shared top scoring honors for the main squad with 83's. The Moccasins also counted 84's from Bernth and Cangero, and Williams had an 86.

In addition Millet's 79 for the "B" team, the Moccasins had an 82 from Boccabella and Higgins, with Wetzel shooting an 84. McWilliams added a 93.

Overall, McKew was tied for 31st with a 2-round total of 162, Gartrell was 42nd with a 164, and Williams, Bernth and Cangero were all tied for 48th at 167.

Wetzel was still leading the "B" team with a 165, followed by Boccabella (166), Millet (167), Higgins (170), and McWilliams (176).

At the end of the day, Rollins still had the lead with a 605 (+29) after shooting a 306 in the second round. Barry moved up three spots with a Monday-best 298 in round two and was only four shots behind the Tars. Nova Southeastern jumped one spot and into third with a 307, putting the Sharks 10 shots off the pace. Lynn sat fourth, trailing the Tars by 11, and Lee was fifth, trailing the Tars by 15.

Florida Southern was in 10th place with its 658 (324-334), falling five shots behind ninth-place Carson-Newman.

In the individual standings, Paige Lyle overtook both Jenny Ayala, and her Rollins teammate, Lexie Toth for first place. Lyle had a second-round 74 and will take a 1-stroke lead into the final round. Lyle is at +2 (146), and Toth and Ayala are tied at +3 (147). Caroline Moore of Lee is in fourth place at +4 (148), and three golfers are tied at +5 (149).

The final round is Tuesday at Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club.