SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. – Receiving final-round 77's from fifth-year senior Shannon McKew and freshman Amanda Gartrell, 25th-ranked Florida Southern improved its score by 17 strokes and moved up in the final standings for a 9th-place finish at the Ross Resorts Invitational hosted by Rollins College at Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club.
McKew's 77 put her in a tie for 22nd place in the individual standings, while Gartrell tied for 27th in the first tournament of her college career. Both golfers had the team's top two scores in all three rounds. Tuesday they were joined by junior Abbey Williams (81) and freshman Victoria Cangero (82) as counters, with senior Britta Bernth shooting an 85 as the Mocs' fifth golfer. That gave Florida Southern a 317, their best round in the tournament, and 17 shots better than the score from round two. It was enough to move the Mocs ahead of Carson-Newman in the team standings, and got them within three shots of seventh place, where Wingate (NC) and Lenoir-Rhyne (NC) tied.
The Florida Southern "B" team had different players lead them in scoring in all three rounds of the tournament, and on Tuesday it was sophomore Marisa Boccabella with an 80. Sophomore Madison Wetzel, who had top-scoring honors in round one, had a final-round 84, and junior Anna Millet and sophomore Tori Higgins each had an 85. Millet was the "B" team's top golfer in round two. Junior Kolby McWilliams had a 91 on Tuesday.
Rollins and Barry, who came into the tournament ranked #1 and #2 in the GolfStat rankings based on their performance last year, started the season the same way with the Tars finishing eight shots ahead of the Buccaneers for the team title at the Ross Resorts Invitational. The Tars had a final-round 300 with all four counters shooting 77 or better, and the Buccaneers had a 304 with three counters at 77 or better, but their fourth shooting an 81. Nova Southeastern and Lynn, who are ranked #4 and #9 respectively, were tied for third place, 22 shots behind Rollins.
Lee University (TN), which is ranked #18, finished in fifth place, and #7 West Florida was sixth. The tournament featured five of the top nine teams in the GolfStat rankings.
Lee's Caroline Moore and Barry's Charlotte Puts tied for the individual lead with a five-over par 221, but Puts was awarded the tournament title based on her better score in the final round. Moore had been in fourth place going into the final round and Puts had been tied for fifth, but Moore shot a 73 and Puts had a 72 to move them ahead of Paige Lyle and Lexie Toth of Rollins, and Jenny Ayala of Lynn.
Lyle and Toth ended up tied for third just one stroke behind the co-champions, and Ayala fell into a tie for 10th place after a final-round 83.
Florida Southern's next tournament will be September 17-18 at the Lady Falcon Fall Invitational hosted by Daytona State.