Dolphins Climb into Fourth Place Tie to End the A-Sun Championship
Jessica Welch took home runner-up honors after a 54-hole total of 221 (+5).
Jessica Welch took home runner-up honors after a 54-hole total of 221 (+5).
JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga. – The Jacksonville University women’s golf team wrapped up its 2013-14 season on Wednesday at the Pine Lakes Golf Course, ending the 2014 Atlantic Sun Women’s Golf Championship in a tie for fourth place. Though Jessica Welch ended the tournament as the individual runner-up with a 54-hole total of 221 (+5), it was Morgan Matchett who had the best round of anyone in the field. Shrugging off the windy conditions, Matchett’s round of 71 was the only under par round on the day, two shots better than anyone else.

Before anyone could begin the third round though, there was the small matter of finishing up yesterday’s second round, postponed due to rain late in the morning on Tuesday. It was in the morning that the weather had its biggest effects. Only East Tennessee State managed a team score of less than 300 in the second round, allowing the Bucs to leap past Mercer through 36 holes and more or less make the championship a two-team race between them and Kennesaw State going into the afternoon.

Natalie Schmett had the best second round for JU, picking up at the halfway point after playing nine holes yesterday. The junior managed to close out in 38 to card a 75, while Welch shot a 77 that pushed her back in the pack after sharing the individual lead at the end of the first round. Matchett and Sabrina Rumbaugh each shot a round of 80 in the morning, while Megan Collins closed with an 87.

The wind didn’t let up any in the afternoon, but Jacksonville did well to fight through and continue to move up in the team standings. Matchett went out in 34 on the front nine of her final round, then survived consecutive bogeys on the back nine by stringing together two birdies on Nos. 7 and 8 before a closing bogey put her at 71. Welch also was able to rise up the leaderboard by staying consistent while those around her fell off in the elements. A year after ending in a tie for fourth place, she rose to second this week after a closing 73 that included a pair of birdies.

Jacksonville’s third score in the final round came from Collins, who recovered from her second round to shoot a 78. Schmett ended her championship with a round of 80 and Rumbaugh concluded the tournament with an 85.

East Tennessee State won the team title for the second year in a row. Paired with Kennesaw State and down a stroke with 18 holes to play, the Bucs outshot the Owls by eight strokes to take home the NCAA Tournament bid. Individual medalist honors went to Vivienne Chin, who never went under par in one of her three rounds, but took the lead midway through the final round and wasn’t heavily challenged down the stretch. Her total of 219 (+3) was two shots ahead of Welch.

2 Jessica Welch 71-77-73 = 221
T14 Morgan Matchett 78-80-71 = 229
T21 Natalie Schmett 77-75-80 = 232
T39 Sabrina Rumbaugh 81-80-85 = 246
T39 Megan Collins 81-87-78 = 246

Final Team Standings
1. East Tennessee State 896 (+32)
2. Kennesaw State 903 (+39)
3. Mercer 905 (+41)
T4. Florida Gulf Coast 921 (+57)
T4. Jacksonville 921 (+57)
T4. North Florida 921 (+57)
7. Stetson 932 (+68)
8. Northern Kentucky 955 (+91)
9. Lipscomb 961 (+97)
10. USC Upstate 979 (+115)