Stetson used a record-breaking performance Wednesday to win the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship.
The Hatters, who started the final round 12 shots behind second-round leader East Tennessee State, posted a 2-under 286 at Venetian Bay Golf Club in New Smyrna Beach, Fla., to claim its second straight A-Sun title and earn an automatic bid to NCAA regional play.
Stetson, No. 75 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, finished at 20-over 884, four shots ahead of No. 77 Kennesaw State (301). No. 50 Campbell (298) and No. 49 ETSU (303) tied for third at 889.
The Hatters’ 286 was a conference championship 18-hole scoring record.
Freshman Alexandria Buelow finished second at 1-under 215. She shot rounds of 72-72-71 to become the first golfer in tournament history to shoot even par or better in every round. Senior Lauren Darnell and sophomore Lauren Cate tied for 11th at 223. Darnell’s closing 3-under 69 was a career best.
“I found out we were back in contention right around the turn and then the kids took it from there,” coach Floyd Kerr said. “I guess Lauren (Darnell) didn’t want to finish her college career today and now she gets to play more golf. As we prepare for NCAA regionals, we’re going to take a more serious approach than I think we did last season. This time our goal is the nationals.”
ETSU’s Laura Jansone made five birdies in a closing 71 and finished at 3-under 213 to win medalist honors. It was her second individual conference championship in the last three years.
The Hatters advance to one of three NCAA regionals, which will be held May 6-8. The East Regional is at Ironwood Country Club in Greenville, N.C., the Central Regional is at Otter Creek Golf Course in Bloomington, Ind., and the West Regional is at Stanford (Calif.) Golf Course.
Regional selections will be announced April 26.
The NCAA Women’s Championship is May 18-21 at the Country Club of Landfall in Wilmington, N.C.
– Information from Stetson athletics was used in this report