The USC Beaufort women's golf team made a big charge on the back nine Tuesday to surge to a third-place finish at the NAIA Fall Preview at Savannah Quarters Country Club in Pooler, Ga.
Led by All-Tournament Team performances from sophomores Emily Turner and Franzi Knoetsch, the Sand Sharks finished the 36-hole event at 626, behind only top-ranked Keiser (607) and No. 2 SCAD Savannah (617). Nine of the 18 teams in the field are ranked in the NAIA Women's Golf Coaches Top 25 Poll, while three more received votes for the top 25.
The Sand Sharks' five players combined to shoot 29-over-par on the front nine Tuesday, but they rallied to combine for a 4-over-par score on the back nine - with four of the five players shooting 1-over 37 or better to put a nice finish on USCB's final event of the fall season.
Turner led the charge, recording four straight birdies from holes 12-15 and another at the par-5 17th to finish 4-under on the back and at 2-under-par 70 for the round - her first career round under par.
The red-hot back nine vaulted Turner (79-70-149) to a tie for third overall, four shots behind individual champion Caroline Retabi of Keiser. Knoetsch (76-74--150) finished with a birdie at the par-4 18th to wrap up USCB's fabulous back nine and finish tied for fifth.
Sophomore Moa Kristenson (77-83--160) tied for 24th, followed by senior Lina Sekerkova (84-83--167) in a tie for 43rd and freshman Vanessa Schloo (88-83--171) in a tie for 58th. Kristenson and Schloo each shot 1-over on the final nine after rough starts to their round.
MEN FALL TO EIGHTH
The USC Beaufort men's golf team slipped to an eighth-place finish Tuesday at the Dave Adamonis Sr. Invitational hosted by Johnson & Wales University in Miami.
The Sand Sharks posted a team score of 317 in the final round on the long, difficult Blue Monster course at Trump National Doral Golf Club, finishing the 54-hole event at 908.
No. 12 Keiser was the only team to break 300 on the final day, shooting 299 to finish at 6-over-par 870 and win the team title by 11 shots over fourth-ranked Johnson & Wales. Top-ranked Coastal Georgia (883) was third, followed by Southeastern (884) and No. 10 Webber International (895). SCAD Savannah (903) finished sixth, while No. 17 Thomas (907) finished one shot ahead of the fifth-ranked Sand Sharks.
Senior Brad Curren (73-73-77--223) paced the Sand Sharks on the final day and led USCB overall, tying for 13th. Freshman Gaetan Weydts-Caesens (74-70-83--227) tied for 26th, followed by senior Jud Milam (76-74-81--231) and sophomore Seth Rockwell (79-74-78--231) in a tie for 39th. Senior Kirk Mitchell (77-78-81--236) rounded out the lineup in 54th.
Keiser's Charlie Stubbs (72-70-71--213) claimed the individual title at 3-under, two shots ahead of Southeastern's Gustavo Vaccaro.
The Sand Sharks wrap up their fall season Nov. 1-2 at the Hummingbird Intercollegiate hosted by Western Carolina University at the Country Club of Sapphire Valley in Sapphire, N.C.