Bringing back the Southland title

(SID) – With three players finishing among the top 10 individuals, Sam Houston State won its second Southland Conference women’s golf championship Wednesday afternoon.

Freshman Stefanie Page fired a two-under final round 70 to tie with Lamar’s Therese Nilsson for the individual crown.

Page later sank a 20-foot birdie putt on the second hole of a sudden death playoff with Nilsson to earn the Southland individual title.

Nilsson was the defending individual medalist titlist from last year’s Southland tournament.

Page’s 54-hole score was 75-76-70–221. Nilsson fired a score of 71-75-76–221. The freshman from The Woodlands becomes the second Bearkat women’s golfer to win the Southland individual title. Raman Saran was the SLC individual champion in 2004.

Page’s two-under 70 in the final round help propel the Bearkats to a third round team score of 304.

Lamar, two-time defending SLC champions, trailed Sam Houston by seven at the start of the third round. The Cardinals carded a final round 310 to give Sam Houston a 13-stroke victory, 912 to 925. Central Arkansas placed third with a 942 score, followed by Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 943, McNeese State 950, Texas State-San Marcos 956, Texas-San Antonio 972, and Nicholls State 992.

Bearkat freshman Landa Stewart finished fifth in the individual standings with an 80-74-74–228 total. Senior Jennifer Heinz was eighth with a 77-71-83–231 score. Wendy Joyner was 15th at 82-79-77–238. Marianna Villarreal placed 20th with a 76-82-85–243.

“This is just a tremendous performance by the team,” SHSU head coach Mike Dirks said. “Congratulations to the girls and to our assistant coach Tommy Chain who was there in Horseshoe Bay with them. A week ago, we tied Lamar in a tournament at San Marcos but lost in a playoff. It takes a lot of mental toughness to come back a week later and beat them by 13 strokes.”

The three-day, 54-hole championship was contested on the 5,901-yard, par-72, course Ram Rock Golf Course at Horseshoe Bay Resort.

Sam Houston State won its previous women’s golf title in 2004. The title marks the Bearkats’ eighth Southland sports crown since 2004.

Sam Houston State came into the event leading all SLC teams this year with a 307.21 stroke average over 29 rounds.

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