May 9, 2009
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The No. 8 University of Alabama women's golf team shot an 11-over par 291 on Saturday to finish second at the NCAA East Regional on the University of Florida's par-70, 6,023-yard Mark Bostick Golf Course with a 54-hole total of 26-over 866.
Denver rallied from an eight-stroke deficit entering the final round with a 1-under-par 279 in on Saturday for a 4-stroke win at 22-over-par 862.
"I hate to lose a tournament, but you can't take anything away from Denver," Alabama head coach Mic Potter said following Saturday's final. "They earned the win today with a fantastic round of golf."
The top eight teams from the NCAA East Regional advance on to the NCAA Championships on May 19-22 at the Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Md. Alabama will be making its fourth consecutive appearance at the NCAA Championships under Potter's guidance.
Along with Denver and Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia, Tulane, Duke, North Carolina and Georgia finished third through eighth to qualify for the NCAA Championships.
In the chase for medalist honors, the Crimson Tide finished with three players in the top 11. Camilla Lennarth finished tied for third at 2-over-par 212 while Brooke Pancake was seventh at 5-over 215. Kathleen Ekey tied for 11th at 7-over 217 after an even-par 70 in the final round.
"We struggled a little bit out there today," Potter said. "We were maybe a little conservative while Denver played really well and put a lot of pressure on us. We 3-putted a couple of times and were a little sloppy. Those strokes came back and cost us the tournament in the end. But it was good to get this experience and be pushed a little bit in a pressure situation. That will help us at the NCAA Championships in a couple of weeks."
Lennarth, a Stockholm, Sweden native, posted a 3-over 73 during Saturday's final round. Denver's Dawn Shockley fired a 4-under-par 66 for the comeback win while Central Florida's Stephanie Connelly finished second overall with a 2-under 68 in the final round and an even-par 210 for the tournament.
Ekey's even-par 70 was the Tide's low score on Saturday while Pancake and Lennarth both turned in steady rounds of 73 over the final 18 holes. Courtney Harter produced her best round of the tournament and counted as Alabama's fourth score with a 5-over-par 75. Rhea Nair finished tied for 46th overall at 14-over 224 after shooting 77 in the third round.
1. Denver: 287, 296, 279 = 862 (+22)
2. Alabama: 284, 291, 291 = 866 (+26)
3. Tennessee: 292, 293, 288 = 873 (+33)
4. Virginia: 290, 297, 287 = 874 (+34)
5. Tulane: 292, 296, 288 = 876 (+36)
t6. Duke: 291, 303, 287 = 881 (+41)
t6. North Carolina: 291, 303, 287 = 881 (+41)
8. Georgia: 297, 295, 297 = 889 (+49)
t3. Camilla Lennarth - 69, 70, 73 = 212 (+2)
7. Brooke Pancake - 70, 72, 73 = 215 (+5)
t11. Kathleen Ekey - 71, 76, 70 = 217 (+7)
t46. Rhea Nair - 74, 73, 77 = 224 (+14)
t96. Courtney Harter - 83, 83, 75 = 241 (+31)