MIAMI LAKES – With only top-ranked Nova Southeastern out-shooting the Moccasins on Tuesday, 6th-ranked Florida Southern used 74s from Tori Higgins, Abbey Williams and Shelby Lewis, and a 75 from Ashley Zagers to secure fourth place at the Barry University Invitational. The 17-team tournament featured five of the top six teams in Division II women's golf, and those same teams also held the top five positions in the final standings.
Florida Southern and Nova Southeastern were the only teams to break 300 in all three rounds, and the Sharks' final score of 873 (+9) gave them a 12-shot win over co-runners-up Indianapolis and Dallas Baptist, the No. 2 and No. 3 ranked teams in Division II according to the most recent Golfstat rankings. Florida Southern's final-round 297 was bettered by only Nova Southeastern on Tuesday, which had a 291. That gave the Moccasins a three-round total of 892 (+21), and their school-record sixth straight sub-300 round. The Moccasins had a similar stretch in March of 2009 when they were under 300 in five of six rounds at the Peggy Kirk Bell Invitational and Barry Invitational. They went on to finish fifth at the national finals that year.
Higgins was Florida Southern's top golfer in the tournament by tying for 13th place with a 223 (+7). She birdied or parred more than 75 percent of her holes. Williams and Zagers tied for 19th with a 225 (+9), and Williams' 74 on Tuesday included an eagle on the par-5 No. 9, her fourth hole of the day. That gave Florida Southern two of the four eagles in the tournament, with Amanda Gartrell recording one in the first round. Williams, who has shot a 75 or better in five of her last six rounds, had her sixth top-20 finish of the season to match Higgins' total. Zagers put together her 225 with three straight 75s while matching Higgins and Williams with six birdies in the tournament. She too had her sixth top-20 showing of the season.
The 74 posted by Lewis allowed her to tie for 28th with a total score of 227 (+11). She had the best ratio of birdies and pars on the team during the tournament with just under 80 percent of her holes. That included 15 of 18 Tuesday when she parred nine of the last 10. Gartrell was also tied for 28th but her 80 on Tuesday was not counted in the team score for the final round. It was only the second time this season Gartrell was not in the top-10, though she was still among the tournament leaders and number one on the team with nine birdies.
The Moccasins had a sixth golfer competing as an individual and Madison Wetzel had the lowest score of any of the five golfers playing in the Barry University Invitational with that designation. She tied for 43rd with a 232 (+16) after posting her best round of the tournament Tuesday. That 75 included a team-best three birdies in the final round.
Team champion Nova Southeastern had the only two golfers to break par, with Sophie Madden beating Jamie Freedman by one stroke for medalist honors. Madden, who was tied for first at the end of round one, and tied for fourth at the end of round two, shot a 70 on Tuesday to finish at two-under-par 214. Freedman, who had gone into the final round tied for second, finished alone in second with a 215. Jordan Chang of Cal State-East Bay was third with a 218, and second-round leader Ann Parmerter dropped to fourth when her 78 Tuesday gave her a 219.
Florida Southern's next tournament will be its last of the regular season. The Moccasins will play in the Argonaut Invitational hosted by West Florida on April 2 and 3 in Navarre, Florida.