WINTER SPRINGS, FL – With three Moccasins shooting identical scores in the final round, including sophomore Tori Higgins who was tied for the team scoring lead overall, Florida Southern finished the Peggy Kirk Bell Invitational in ninth place out of 14 teams with a total team score of 937.
Higgins, freshman Amanda Gartrell and fifth-year senior Shannon McKew all had 82s on Tuesday, which turned out to be the best scores of the day for Florida Southern. The Moccasins' fourth counter was sophomore Madison Wetzel, who shot an 83, while junior Abbey Williams, who tied Higgins for the best score overall at the tournament, shot an 84.
On Monday, when the first two rounds were played, there were six team rounds under 300, but none of them had a score better than 301 Tuesday, and only two teams shot better than 314. There were 17 team scores better than that in the two rounds Monday.
The best scores Tuesday were Nova Southeastern's 301 and Florida Tech's 305. The Sharks used theirs to break a second-round tie with Rollins and win the tournament by 17 shots over Montevallo (AL), with Florida Tech 18 back in third place. Rollins fell all the way to fourth and finished 19 shots behind the winning Sharks, and Flagler was fifth, 24 shots off the pace.
Higgins and Williams each finished the tournament with scores of 234 to tie for 25th place and were never separated by more than two strokes in any of the three rounds. Williams had the best single round score though with a 72 in round one, and each of them was in the 70s for their first two. Gartrell was also in the 70s for each of the first two rounds and finished with a 235 overall that tied her for 29th. Wetzel was tied for 37th with a 239, and McKew was tied for 41st with a 240.
Playing as three of the tournament's 11 individual golfers were senior Britta Bernth, junior Kolby McWilliams and junior Anna Millet. They held three of the top four spots among that group of 11. Bernth had an 83 on Tuesday to close with a 236 overall that tied her for 32nd place, and McWilliams and Millet each shot an 84. McWilliams tied for 48th with a 244, and Millet tied for 51st with a 246.
Earning medalist honors was Michelle Ruiz from Nova Southeastern who finished two strokes ahead of Florida Tech's Brittany LaPadula. Ruiz used a final-round 76 to finish at two-over par 218 for the tournament and was followed by LaPadula at 220, and Arin Eddy of Montevallo at 221. Those were the same three golfers who were 1-2-3 entering the final round of play.
Florida Southern's next tournament will be March 27-28 at the Barry University Invitational at Shula's Resort in Miami Lakes.