Bearkats runners-up at UAB Fall Beach Bash

After finishing the first day of the University of Alabama – Birmingham Fall Beach Bash at a tie for second place, Sam Houston State women’s golf would not be able to claim first on Tuesday and ended the tournament as runners-up.

Senior Alisa White headed into the second day leading on the individual boards but would drop to fourth overall in the tournament.

“The girls were looking forward to the last round being only one shot out of the lead and expecting some consistent play with the goal of finishing first,” assistant coach Tommy Chain said. “The team had a solid ball-striking day on Monday’s round one and made a fair amount of birdies to finish with a couple of low rounds from White and Paige Nelson.”

White, who led the field with a 70 on Monday, did just enough to maintain the lead among her Bearkat teammates but could only shoot a 75 on the Cypress-Marsh course Tuesday. Nelson matched her 73 from the first day while sophomore Brooke Fouts, junior Nicole Budnik and freshman Sarah Black all shot better than their initial rounds on Monday.

The Bearkats finished with a team total of 591 with a 296 Monday and a 295 Tuesday, leaving them seven shots behind Southland Conference foe Houston Baptist for the victory.

West Florida and Western Kentucky stayed in the hunt until the end as well, finishing one and two shots behind the Bearkats. Louisiana Monroe had a rough day and fell back 14 shots to finish in fifth place. West Florida’s Paloma Vaccaro had the best individual rounds of any golfer, finishing two shots in front of White. McNeese, UAB, Southern Mississippi, Austin Peay, Belmont and North Dakota rounded out the competition.

This tournament capped off a good season for the Bearkats, who ends with one title and two runner-up finishes.

“Being in contention to win in four of five events in the fall is good experience for the players and will help them get used to the kind of pressure that eventually leads to wins,” said Chain.

The Bearkats had their lone victory late in September at the Oral Roberts shootout. Chain explained what this season meant to the program heading into the break before spring.

“The fall season proved that we have a very talented group that is very close to winning our share of tournaments,” Chain said. “We need to work on short game in the off-season to get us at the scores necessary to win tournaments.”

The spring season will begin February at the Texas State Invitational in New Braunfels.

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