The Coastal Carolina women’s golf team got off to a bad start in defense of its 2018 Sun Belt Conference Tournament championship, and never challenged for the lead in this year’s 54-hole conference championship.
Coastal shot a 15-over 303 in the opening round – the worst round shot by any team in the top six throughout the tournament – and finished in sixth place with a 27-over 891 (303-295-293) at the LPGA International Hills Course in Daytona Beach, Florida.
The Chanticleers were seeking back to back Sun Belt championships after finishing ninth in 2017 in their first season in the conference.
“It’s always disappointing when you’re supposed to win the tournament, you come in as the top seed with the highest ranking, and we got there and it wasn’t our week,” CCU coach Katie Quinney said.
CCU freshman Jenjira Jinangkul of Thailand finished fourth at 1-over 74-71-72–217 to be named one of six All-Tournament players. Fellow freshman Tiffany Arafi of Switzerland shot a 1-under 71 Wednesday to tie for 18th with senior teammate Marie Lunackova of Czech Republic at 8-over 224.
Sophomore Frantiska Lunackova tied for 28th at 12-over 228 and junior Alexandra Naumovski of Canada tied for 34th at 14-over 230.
South Alabama won its second Sun Belt title, and first since 1997, by three strokes over runner-up Texas State with a 13-over 877 to earn the conference’s automatic NCAA regional berth.
Georgia Southern junior Ella Ofstedahl was the medalist at 3-under 213 following a 3-under 69 in the final round.
The Chanticleers are not expected to receive consideration for an NCAA at-large berth.
CCU won the Kiawah Island Spring Classic in February, which featured 49 teams including two squads from several schools, finished second in events hosted by Furman and Jacksonville, and third at the Gunrock Invitational in California this season. But it also finished ninth or worse in four events.
The CCU men’s golf team attempts to win its second straight Sun Belt title from April 21-24 at Raven Golf Course at Sandestin in Miramar Beach, Florida, to reach an NCAA regional for a second straight season – likely the NCAA Myrtle Beach Regional at TPC Myrtle Beach from May 12-15.