Washington-St. Louis cuts Methodist lead at Sandestin
DESTIN, Fla. – After two rounds at the Golfweek Division III Invitational, only one team is within 20 shots of Methodist. Washington-St. Louis, paired with the Monarchs on Monday, cut the lead from 18 shots to eight on a sunny day at Sandestin Resort’s Baytowne Course.
The Bears outscored Methodist – and every other team – by 10 shots in Round 2. They finished the day at 6-over 294, which moved them to 32-over 608 for 36 holes. Methodist, the defending champion at this event, is at 24-over 600.
“I don’t know if we were consciously chasing them,” said Washington-St. Louis head coach Sean Curtis. “... I think it was more we talked about paying attention to a couple other details for us.”
Among those things was a strong finish. In Round 1, Washington-St. Louis doubled its relation to par in the final six holes. Curtis also wanted his players to focus on getting the ball to the hole. On Monday, Washington-St. Louis made up the most ground on Methodist at No. 18. The Bears played the hole in 2 over while Methodist was 4 over.
Though no grudge match existed Monday between the two teams, it was a good opportunity for Washington-St. Louis, No. 2 in the Golfstat head-to-head rankings, to line up beside Methodist, No. 1. Curtis said each player was responsible only for the girl in her group.
“I don’t think we’re every going to talk about beating anybody,” said Curtis. That’s just not the Bears’ style. Washington-St. Louis is a loose group with a good attitude. The team draws leadership from junior Olivia Lugar, who earned player and freshman of the year honors two years ago. At 4-over 148 (72-76), Lugar trails defending champion Loretta Giovannettone of Methodist by one shot. Teammate Connie Zhou, a sophomore, also is tied for second.
While Methodist won this tournament a year ago, the Monarchs fell short of extending their national title streak to 16 last spring as the national championship was played at Baytowne. Consider the Golfweek Invitational an opportunity for redemption.
“It’s game on tomorrow,” said Methodist head coach Tom Inczauskis.
It will be a good test for both.