SEC WOMEN’S GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP:

Gone with the wind

UA loses lead late; Auburn takes title

By: Marty Cook
Published: Monday, April 23, 2012
Arkansas golfer Emma Lavy tees off on No. 4 during Sunday’s final round. Lavy, who started the day in third place at 1 over, struggled to finish with an 11-over 83.
Photo by William Moore
Arkansas golfer Emma Lavy tees off on No. 4 during Sunday’s final round. Lavy, who started the day in third place at 1 over, struggled to finish with an 11-over 83.

— The Arkansas women had a four stroke lead with three holes to play at the SEC Championships.

Then Blessings Golf Course turned on the Razorbacks as windy conditions and a difficult closing stretch of holes hammered Arkansas and cost the Razorbacks the team championship. Arkansas, No. 36 nationally, staggered home, shooting 11-over par during the last three holes as defending champion Auburn escaped with a one shot victory Sunday.

“We are proud to have won this,” said Auburn Coach Kim Evans, whose team played the same holes in 6 over. “This course takes a little bit of your soul.”

The Tigers finished at 52-over 916, with Arkansas second at 917 and No. 2 Alabama third at 922.

“It is a little bittersweet right now,” Arkansas Coach Shauna Estes-Taylor said. “To fall one shot short after hitting 800 plus shots is disappointing. There is truly no [safe] lead out here, and you are always just one shot away from a big number.”

Auburn’s Patricia Sanz won the individual title when she made a short bogey putt that also clinched the team title. Sanz finished at 3-over 219 for the tournament, one shot ahead of Vanderbilt’s Marina Alex and two ahead of Arkansas’ Emily Tubert.

Tubert, who shot 1-over 73 Sunday, birdied 13 and 14 to go to 1 under but closed with bogeys on 16 and 17. She missed an 8-foot birdie putt on No. 18 that could have forced a team playoff with Auburn.

“It was really close out there,” Tubert said. “Unfortunately, it didn’t fall our way.

“We had it. We were there.”

Arkansas’ Emma Lavy, who started the day in third place at 1 over, struggled to an 11-over 83. Lavy played the last six holes in 6 over, done in especially on the par-3 17th when her tee shot was buried in a green side bunker.

The ball was so deep Lavy had to dig the ball out under the eyes of a rules official and then rebury the ball after confirming it was hers. She ended with a double bogey, and then missed just short on a 15-foot par putt on 18 that, like Tubert’s putt, could have forced a playoff.

“I gave it all I had, which obviously wasn’t very good,” said Lavy, tears streaming down her face. “It was a close one [on 18]. It would have been great.”

Lavy felt the burden of believing she had cost her team a chance at victory, although no one else, either on Arkansas or Auburn felt that way. The Tigers’ day was equally discombobulated as Auburn golfers had a double bogey, four triple bogeys and two quadruple bogeys.

“On every hole, you could fall or rise,” Evans said. “We were just lucky.”

Tubert closed to within one shot of Sanz for the individual title when she made consecutive birdies on 13 and 14. Sanz, the Tigers’ No. 5 golfer, had made a triple bogey on the sixth hole and then followed with consecutive bogeys.

Sanz regained her game, making birdie on 11 and making six pars before her closing bogey.

SEC women’s golf championship At Blessings Golf Club, Fayetteville Par 72, 6,133 yards Final round

TEAM RESULTS

  1. Auburn ............. 306-297-313 - 916

  2. Arkansas ....... 309-295-313 - 917

  3. Alabama ........... 297-312-313 - 922

  4. Florida .............. 307-305-313 - 925

  5. Georgia ............. 308-306-319 - 933

  6. South Carolina . 315-308-313 - 936

  7. LSU .................. 310-309-318 - 937

  8. Vanderbilt ......... 318-307-315 - 940

  9. Kentucky .......... 317-307-322 - 946

  10. Ole Miss ......... 309-315-326 - 950

  11. Tennessee ...... 320-309-322 - 951

  12. Miss. State ..... 315-326-333 - 974

Individual results, 5C

Sports, Pages 13 on 04/23/2012

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