+ College Golf

Anderson wins SAC Tournament Championship

Led by medalist Jessica Rathbone the Anderson Trojans won the SAC championship at the Hartsville Country Club and will play in the NCAA Division II South Regional. (Photos from Anderson University)

In the words of Cal Naughton Junior, “nothin wrong with silver”

But unlike the perpetual runner-up to Ricky Bobby, the Anderson Trojans got tired of taking the runner-up trophy home with them.

The Trojans went for the gold and got it at the South Atlantic Conference Women’s championship played at the Hartsville Country Club.

Anderson had finished in second place four times during the regular season playing in events with other elite NCAA D-II teams.

“I kept telling the team it was going to happen for us,” said Denton Moore, the Associate Head Coach at Anderson. “We have been ranked among the top-5 teams and have been playing in tournaments with all the best teams and coming close to winning,” he said.

The Trojans celebrate a victory at the SAC championship played at the Hartsville Country Club.

Anderson’s regular season record, included two wins and a third place finish, but the four second place finishes have come against Nova-Southeastern, Lynn and Limestone, all ranked in the top-five with the Trojans.

“This was a big win for us and it means we are going to the NCAA D-II South Regionals in May,” said Moore.

The Trojans claimed a nine-shot win in the conference tournament and Jessica Rathbone continued her outstanding season with a third tournament title.

The sophomore, from Virginia, was the tournament medalist shooting better scores every day.

Jessica Rathbone won the individual championship by 10 shots.

Rathbone shot rounds of 72-69 and a final round 67 to win the conference championship by 10 shots.

“Jessica was playing great and in the last round she carried us over the finish line,” said Moore.

Kennedy McGaha held the first round lead and finished in third place.

The 18h ranked NCAA Division II player is certain to move up higher.

“I don’t think she has finished outside the top-20 in any event this year. Sometimes she is playing a different course than the rest of us,” joked Moore.

She received great support from freshman Kennedy McGaha, from nearby Belton, who finished third after flirting with the lead during the tournament.

Kerington Lamb finished tied for 11th with Emma Charles and Victoria Hall rounding out the championship team.

“We have been very fortunate to also have some very good players like Zoe Iglesias and Anna Freeman who can step right into the lineup,” added Moore.

Winning a conference championship is every teams’ goal. Now comes the next big step for the program.

Victoria Hall and Emma Charles have gone on to the national as individual players, but as a team, Anderson had yet to earn an invitation until this year.

Danny Neal, Anderson University’s Director of Golf and Denton Moore, Associate Head Coach are bringing the conference championship trophy back to Anderson.

Anderson will play in the NCAA D-II South Regional in Fort Lauderdale. If they can finish in the top-five they can advance to the national championship.

“I think everyone who is involved in D-II Women’s golf knows that the South Regional has more good teams than even the national championship, so it will be a real challenge to move on,”Moore said.

“We have a chance to do something we’ve never done before, we are looking forward to what is in front of us,” concluded Moore.

SAC Tournament scores https://birdiefire.com/tournament/93529/

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