MESA, Ariz.— It came down to a single stroke. But that was all Barton Community College needed to stay in the Top 10 at the NJCAA National Golf Meet.
The Cougars held on to that 10th spot by a single shot finishing with a 4-round total of 1419, one better than Sandhills (NC) College on a windy final day. It is the second straight year the Cougars have earned a top 10 effort finishing ninth last season. It is the third time in school history Barton has accomplished that feat.
“I could not be more proud of this group,” coach Doug Kaiser said. “They won the conference, won the regional and finished in the top 10 in the country. This is the second straight year we have finished in the top 10. That is a great accomplishment for the girls.”
Barton held a 6-stroke lead on Sandhills heading into the final day after passing them during the third round. The Cougars shot a 353 on the last day while Sandhills shot 348 at Longbow Golf Club.
Natthakan Teeratrakul just missed her second straight Top 20 finish and All-American honors. Teeratrakul shot an 82 on the final day to finish 24th – four strokes out of the top 20. She ended with a 4-day total of 326, an average of just less than 10-over par.
The sophomore from Thailand got off to a rough start, sitting 7-over after seven holes. But she gathered herself to finish the final 11 holes in 3-over. It was her tap-in birdie on the final hole that kept Barton a single stroke ahead of Sandhills.
“That kept us 10th by ourselves,” Kaiser said. “She almost made eagle and just had a tap in left for birdie.”
Hye Rin Kim, a freshman from Thailand, had three difficult holes on the day, finishing with her highest score of the tournament – an 88. That dropped her to 40th overall with a 338 total. She was consistent throughout shooting all four rounds in the 80’s.
“Hye Rin had a great freshman year for us,” said coach Kaiser. “She was right there with Noonie (Teeratrakul) at a lot of the meets.”
Madison Walden, a sophomore from Wichita, wrapped up her play with her best score of the week. Walden had a great back nine to finish with an 89.
“Madison played really well those last two days,” Kaiser said. “She finished strong on the final nine holes. She was able to stay out of trouble and her score reflected it.”
Walden got off to a tough start and was already 9-over par in the first five holes on her way to a 48 on the front side. The back side saw Walden post four par and five bogeys to card a 41. Her total for the tournament was 380, good for 79th.
Right behind her was teammate Abbie Thelen. Thelen shot a 94 the final day and dropped behind Walden into 80th place with a 381. Walden opened with a 48 on the front side and a 46 on her final nine holes.
“Abbie was pretty consistent for us most of the year,” coach Kaiser said. “She played really well the third round and we needed that score from her to move up to 10th that day.”
Great Bend sophomore Madison Werth wrapped up her career with her second best score of the week. Werth finished with a 104 for a total of 417 in 96th place. Back-to-back pars on 13 and 14 gave her a chance to finish under 100 but she came up just short.
“Getting Madison to the national tournament was big for us,” said Kaiser. “She had the third lowest score for us the second day. If it wasn’t for her we wouldn’t have been in 10th place.”
Seminole State (Fla) coasted the final day to the easy win with a 309 – the highest score of the tournament for the national champions. Back-to-back rounds under 300 on the 2nd and 3rd day gave Seminole State a comfortable lead in the final round.
Seminole State finished with a 1204 – 18 shots better than runner-up Daytona State (Fla), which shot a 1222. It was nearly 50 more strokes back to third – host Mesa (Ariz) College.
Daytona State’s Tiffany Chan also cruised home on the final day for the individual championship. Her 5-under 67 on the third day gave her the lead. She shot a 73 the final day for an even par 288 for the tournament. Sydney Legacy of Seminole State was seven strokes back at 295 for second.
Top 10 Individuals – Par 72 (288)
1 Tiffany Chan (Daytona St), 71-77-67-73—288
2 Sydney Legacy (Seminole St), 76-72-71-76—295
3 Josefine Garton (Seminole St), 73-73-75-81—302
4 Ji Sun Kang (Daytona St), 76-78-70-80—304
4 Cynthia Bounleutay (Seminole St), 78-77-71-78—304
6 Whitney Stevenson (Daytona St), 77-76-77-76—306
7 Charatta Thongbai (Mesa), 74-80-80-75—309
7 Nikita Arjun (Spartanburg Meth), 76-82-72-79—309
9 Devanshi Naik (Western Texas), 77-76-81-76—310
10 Caitlin Huiting (Seminole St), 76-76-77-83—312
23 Natthakan Teeratrakul, 81-85-78-82—326
34 Hye Rin Kim, 86-81-83-88—338
80 Madison Walden, 97-103-91-89—380
79 Abbie Thelen, 97-101-89-94—381
95 Madison Werth, 109-97-107-103—417
1 Seminole State (Fla), 303-298-294-309—1204
2 Daytona State (Fla), 304-310-298-310—1222
3 Mesa (Ariz), 313-318-316-320—1267
4 McLennan (Texas), 322-319-318-316—1275
5 Western Texas, 322-324-319-322—1287
6 Redlands (Okla), 319-331-323-345—1318
7 Tyler (Texas), 338-344-328-343—1353
8 Iowa Western, 353-346-327-343—1369
9 Rend Lake (Ill), 349-352-346-341—1388
10 Barton, 361-364-341-353—1419
11 Sandhills (NC), 363-360-349-348—1420
12 John A Logan (Ill), 356-377-356-360—1449
13 Des Moines Area (Iowa), 368-359-356-370—1453
14 Pima (Ariz), 370-374-373-385—1502
15 Bismark State (ND), 438-431-419-401—1689