It didn’t take long for Wren grad Chloe Holder to put a college win on her freshman resume.
The first year player at Augusta State from Anderson shot rounds of 71-67-69 for a 6-under par 207 total to win the Mercedes-Benz Intercollegiate in Knoxville.
Holder got her first win so fast the school’s Sports Information Department didn’t even have her picture and bio on the team’s website.
“It was between awesome and unbelievable,” said Holder. “I didn’t have any expectations for myself in my first tournament and I think that helped me just stay within myself and play my game,” she said.
The 17 team event hosted by Tennessee included five power-5 conference teams and teams from the Southern, the Colonial, the Mid-American and Conference -USA.
Holder opened the 54 hole event with an even par 71. She would not admit to being nervous in her first college start, but she did bogey two of her first four holes before carding a birdie.
“I didn’t feel any pressure. I knew I was ready to play and my game was in good shape. I had been putting the ball really well. I was confident I could play well,” she said.
Holder had won a spot in the Jaguars lineup during 8 rounds of preseason qualifying.
She won her individual match in a season opening match play event with Georgia Southern. Ironically it was the Eagles that Holder originally committed to play college golf for before deciding to attend Augusta State.
In Knoxville at the Cherokee Country Club the tournament format called for two rounds on the first day so Holder didn’t have time to check her standing after the first round, as play never stopped.
But in the second round Holder’s putter really caught fire. She made 7 birdies, including a stretch of five in six holes in the middle of her round.
“Most of the putts were around 10 feet, but my last birdie was from about 30 feet. When I finished play I checked the scoreboard and saw I was close,” she remembered.
Holder only trailed tournament leader Kirsten Fotu from BYU. The leader shot identical rounds of 68 to stand at 6-under par going into the final round.
While the two leaders were close on the scoreboard because of team play they were in different groupings. Fotu started well in front of Holder. The two didn’t see each other in the final round until the scores were posted.
“I really think that helped me. I could lock in on what I was doing and not worry about what else was going on or what someone else was shooting,” she said.
Holder played well in her final round shooting a 2-under par 69. Fotu helped her BYU team win the team title, but individually she fell back into a tie for 11th place.
Holder would finish 4-shots in front of a pair of golfers form Chattanooga and her second round 4-under par 67 would be the low round of the tournament.
“The only thing I was thinking about was to go as low as I could and I would be happy with whatever the outcome would be, but it turned out great,” she admitted.
BYU won the tournament title by three shots over Miami. Augusta State tied for third place.
Holder and her Augusta State team will next play in the Lady Paladin Intercollegiate which begins at Furman on Friday.
Even though she has only been away from home a few weeks Holder is looking forward to playing “back home” this week.
“I’ve gotten such great support from everyone at home. My Dad is my number one fan and he was at the tournament. I worked at Legacy Pines and have taken lessons from Tommy Biershenk for years and I heard from him and many others so this has been a great week,” concluded the winner of the Mercedes-Benz Intercollegiate.
Scores from the Mercedes Benz Intercollegiate http://results.golfstat.com/public/leaderboards/gsnav.cfm?pg=player&tid=23787
Categories: + College Golf