The Merrimack College women’s golf team is back on top of the Northeast-10 Conference after winning the 2018 NE10 Women’s Golf Championship on Monday at Capital Hills in Albany.
The Warriors, who had a three-stroke lead after yesterday’s opening round, turned in a seven-shot improvement as a team to pull ahead and ultimately prevail by 10 strokes to win the league title for the fourth time over the last five years, extending an NE10 record for most championships by a single school.
Senior Krystal Knight claimed her second straight individual league title; she, like her team, improved mightily in Monday’s second round despite the extremely challenging course conditions. After holding a three-shot lead yesterday, Knight eventually turned in a one-under-par score for the second round and won the medalist honor by nine strokes and earned all-tournament team honors in the process.
By virtue of winning the league tournament, the Warriors qualify as a team – for the first time ever – for the 2019 NCAA Division II Women’s Golf Championship next May.
Team Finish (Strokes/Place): 317-310—627 ( 59) | 1st/8
Top Finisher: Krystal Knight (73-70—143/ 1) | 1st
Location: Capital Hills at Albany | Albany, N.Y.
Course Info: Par 71 | 5,965 Yards
How It Happened
- After the finish of last year’s tournament was more dramatic both in the team race and for the individual title, the 2018 installment of the league tournament was tame by comparison. Knight, who held a three-stroke lead on Sunday, went on to improve her score by three shots, carding the only under-par score of the tournament with a one-under 70 on Monday. Knight finished nine shots clear of her next-closest opponent and became a two-time league medalist in the process, earning a spot on the all-tournament team.
- Knight made five birdies in Monday’s second round and bogeyed on only three holes, representative of just how strong of a day she enjoyed.
- Senior Nina Harrington and freshman Jordan Laplume wound up in a tie for sixth place thanks to a pair of consistent performances on Monday. Harrington posted her second straight 80 score, while Laplume was four shots better than her opening round, playing bogey-free on 12-of-18 holes on Monday. They each were 18-over for the tournament with two-round scores of 160.
- Senior Olivia Dempster, after finishing Sunday in a tie for eighth place, finished in that same spot in the standings after a second straight score of 82. She went five straight holes on the front nine without a bogey to highlight her second round performance.
- Sophomore Priscilla Hemway improved by one spot in the standings and finished tied for 21st place with a second day score of 88.
- Merrimack averaged 3.46 strokes on Par 3 holes, a tournament-low 4.56 strokes per Par 4 holes and a tournament-low 5.45 strokes per Par 5 holes. The Warriors totaled 10 birdies for the tournaments and led all teams with 85 par holes.
- Merrimack exacted a bit of revenge after falling narrowly to Franklin Pierce in last year’s league championship. The Warriors won the tournament by 10 this time around, taking home their league-record fourth trophy in the process.
- Merrimack has won four of the five tournaments it has competed in this year, with Knight taking the individual title in all of them. Dating back to last spring, the Warriors have now finished either first or second at seven of the last eight tournaments they have competed in.
1st – Knight (73-70—143/ 1)
T-6th – Harrington (80-80—160/ 18)
T-6th – Laplume (82-78—160/ 18)
T-8th – Dempster (82-82—164/ 22)
T-21st – Hemway (86-88—174/ 32)
1st – Merrimack (317-310—627/ 59)
2nd – Franklin Pierce (320-617—637/ 69)
3rd – Southern New Hampshire (328-338—666/ 98)
With the league title in tow, Merrimack will put a historic end to its fall season when it heads to the Music City Invitational at the Old Hickory Club in Nashville at the beginning of next week, with the two-day tournament slated to begin on Monday, Oct. 22.