The Furman Lady Paladins have reasons to celebrate and also to be disappointed.
Furman’s Sarah-Eve Rheaume won the individual conference championship, but the team title slipped away from the Lady Paladins on the final three holes.
Rheaume took the first round lead by a shot and then playing a second 18 holes on the same day the Lady Paladin sophomore shot a 4-under par 68 for a 6-shot lead.
Rheaume was the only golfer in the field to be under par after the first 36 holes.
East Tennesse had the team lead by 2-shots over Mercer and 4-shots over the Lady Paladins going into the final round.
Furman senior Madison Moosa helped push the Lady Paladins past Mercer and East Tennessee to build a 3-shot lead over the Bucs late in the final round.
Moosa was third to begin the last round and would shoot a bogey free final round.
She got help from Anna Morgan who birdied her 14th and 15th holes while Rheaume stayed close to par.
But with 3-holes to go the Lady Paladins could not close out ETSU.
East Tennessee played their final three holes at even par while the Lady Paladins played their final three holes at 4-over par.
The result was a celebration for Rheaume who became Furman’s 17th SoCon women’s medalist, but a 1-shot loss for the team.
Rheaume’s tournament best 212 score ties another Lady Paladin, 2015 SoCon champion Alice Chen, for the second best winning score in tournament history.
“I’m very happy to have gotten my first college win this week, especially with how crazy of a year it has been,” said Rheaume. ” Everything came together nicely this week and it was very rewarding to see the hard work pay off,” she said.
While the new SoCon medalist was pleased with the win, Rheaume knows missing out on the team title for the first time since 2014 is a big disappointment.
“Obviously it didn’t finish like we would’ve hoped for from a team standpoint, but we will learn from this and be back next year,” said Rheaume.
Moosa, a senior, shot a bogey free 4-under par 68 to finish 1-shot behind Rheaume in second place.
“I am really proud of Sarah-Eve,” said Furman head coach Jeff Hull. “She played incredibly well over the last two days. It was really nice for her to get her first career win at the SoCon championship and earn the automatic individual bid into regionals. I am also very proud of Madison, who played really well the last two rounds to finish second. This was a great way to end her SoCon career,” said the Lady Paladin’s coach.
Rheaume is guaranteed a spot in an NCAA Regional as the conference champion.
However, with ETSU winning the team title the Lady Paladins may be on a bubble when it comes to an invitation to this year’s NCAA Regionals.
In the last Golfweek rankings on April 18th the Lady Paladins were ranked 52nd which could make continuing their season in the NCAA tournament problematic.
SoCon womens scores from GolfStat
East Tennessee wins SoCon men’s championship
What looked to be an East Tennessee State insurmountable lead disappeared, but the Bucs played well enough to win the SoCon championship by 8-shots.
The Bucaneers shot a final round 8-over par, but neither Western Carolina or Furman was able to shoot under par to catch up to ETSU.
ETSU ‘s Archie Davies won medalist honors with his 3-day total of 207. Davies shot a final round even par 72 to hold off Louis Theys from Western Carolina and Furman’s Keller Harper.
Davies finished 3-shots ahead of the field for the win.
While Davies won his first individual championship, the Bucs won the 21st SoCon golf championship in the history of the school.
ETSU will find out which NCAA Regional they will be sent to on May 5th when regional assignments are announced on the Golf Channel.
Southern Conference Scores from GolfStat