MONROE, N.C. ( TheSAC.com) – The Queens University of Charlotte Royals withstood several rallies to take the South Atlantic women's golf tournament championship title Tuesday at the Monroe Country Club (par 72, 5981 yards). The Royals win their first-ever SAC women's golf championship with a three-day total of 938, four strokes better than hard-charging Carson-Newman University at 942.
Lincoln Memorial (944) and Newberry (946) also made moves throughout the day, but they could get dethrone the Royals. LMU's third-round 306 was a Tuesday best and a season-best posting for the Railsplitters. Host Wingate was fifth at 956, followed by Tusculum (968), Anderson (974), Coker (983), Lenoir-Rhyne (986), Mars Hill (1003) and Brevard (1111). Twelve schools and 60 student-athletes participated in this year's SAC championship.
Individually, Queens senior Grace Glaze made it a clean sweep of the 2016 SAC individual awards with her medalist crown. The 2016 SAC Player of the Year completed 54 holes with a score of 223, one stroke better than SAC Freshman of the Year and Lenoir-Rhyne student-athlete Abbey Hartsell. Glaze had a 75 Tuesday, while Hartsell shot a tournament-best round of two-under-par 70.
Second-round leader and Newberry freshman Nabila Inakclaimed third place at 225. She had a 78 Tuesday after her (then) tourney low round of one-under-par 71 Monday. The remainder of the first team all-tournament squad included two more freshmen: first round leader Taylor Hayes of Carson-Newman and Rhea Bhatia of Queens, who finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Hayes had an 80 Tuesday to finish at 230, while Bhatia posted a third-round 76 to finish at 231.
Six student-athletes made the second team all-tournament squad. Lincoln Memorial freshman Reagan Greene was all alone in sixth place at 232 after a 76 Tuesday. Queens sophomore Kylie Nizolek and Tusculum sophomore Ciara Rattana tied for seventh at 235. Nizolek had a 75 Tuesday, while Rattana posted a 77.
Wingate senior Caitlin Starrs and Carson-Newman teammates Elizabeth England and Meridith Hawkins tied for ninth place at 236, completing the second team all-tournament list. England had a 75 Tuesday, while Hawkins recorded a 78. Starrs had a third-round score of 82.
Statistically, the all-tournament team held down the top spot in each individual category. Lenoir-Rhyne's Hartsell led both total pars (36) and par four scoring (4.10, three-over-par). Newberry's Inak (3.00, even par) and Queens' Bhatia (4.67, four-under-par) led the par three scoring and the par five scoring categories, respectively. Inak had the tournament's second eagle Tuesday with a three on the par five, 456-yard 15th hole. Hayes had 11 birdies to top the tournament charts.
Glaze's name was ever-present on the statistical listings, as she was second in par five scoring (4.75, three-under-par), tied for second in birdies (eight), tied for third in par four scoring (4.23, seven-over-par), tied for fourth in par three scoring (3.25, three-over-par) and seventh in total pars (32).
First Team All-Tournament
Grace Glaze, Queen's (+7)
Abbey Hartsell, Lenoir-Rhyne (+8)
Nabila Inak, Newberry College (+9)
Taylor Hayes, Carson-Newman (+14)
Rhea Bhatia, Queen's (+15)
Second Team All-Tournament
Reagan Greene, Lincoln Memorial (+16)
Kylie Nizolek, Queen's (Tie +19)
Ciara Rattana, Tusculum College (Tie +19)
Elizabeth England, Carson-Newman (Tie +20)
Meridith Hawkins, Carson-Newman (Tie +20)
Caitlin Starrs, Wingate (Tie +20)
(more to follow)