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Anderson and Limestone make the final eight at the NCAA DII

Anderson led after the first round, slipped to fourth in the second round, and bounced back to finish second in stroke play qualifying for the NCAA DII Medal-Match Play final. The Anderson team includes Kennedy McGaha, Jessica Rathbone, Kerington Lamb, Emma Charles, and Victoria Hall. (Anderson Photo)

There are a few problems when you play in the NCAA DII National Championship and you make it to the final eight.

You need some clean clothes to suit up for the Medal Match Play finals.

The Anderson Trojans packed all their uniforms, but now after a practice day and three days of stroke play they needed a washing machine even more than a ball washer.

“This is a nice problem to have,” said Denton Moore, the Trojans Associate Head Coach. “Our parents came by and got everything and will have it back to us so we will be ready to go in the morning,” he said.

Chances are Limestone, the other team from the Upstate advancing into the final eight is in the same predicament.

The Trojans and the Saints both played well in the final stroke play round to finish second and third respectively and advance to the Medal-Match Play round that begins on Friday morning.

Anderson shot an 11-over par 299 total to move up two spots to second.

Limestone maintained its third place position with a 17-over par round of 305.

Both teams held a comfortable margin over the 8th place team, Findlay which finished 15 strokes behind the Saints.

Anderson’s Jessica Rathbone finished fifth in the stroke play tournament and was named a WGCA All-American. (Anderson Photo)

The stage was big for the Trojans making their first trip to the national championship and now it gets even bigger.

“We really haven’t been nervous all week. We have played in a lot of big tournaments this year against these top teams and done well,” said Moore.

The Anderson coach was concerned about the number of three putt greens his team had totaled up in the first two rounds, but the Trojans almost eliminated the problem in the last round of stroke play.

“Our ball striking has been solid and when we don’t make short game errors we can score pretty good,” said Moore.

Anderson was again led by Jessica Rathbone, who was honored by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association as a DII All-American after today’s round.

The Anderson sophomore shot her second straight even par round of 72 to finish in fifth place.

Limestone held their spot as Maria Morales and Ebba Hellman each finished in the top-10. Hellman was named to the WGCA All American team.

The nationally 3rd ranked Saints will face West Texas A&M in a match up of the 3 and 6 seeds. The Buffs entered the tournament as the 12th ranked team in the country.

Limestone made the Medal-Match Play final last year after finishing on top of the stroke play tournament. The Saint’s were upset by Grand Valley State in the opening round of the Medal Match Play final.

Limestone’s Ebba Hellman was named a WGCA All-American. (Limestone Photo)

Anderson will open against 7th seed Lynn the number 2 ranked team in the country entering the championship.

“All the teams that are left are very good. You are going to have to beat good teams to keep playing,” said Moore.

There was some strategy involved in setting the match-ups for the first round.

Using a Ryder Cup style draw, Lynn had the first option and is sending their number one player, Sara Ericcson off first. The Trojans will counter with Emma Charles, who has been Anderson’s fifth player this week.

“Emma is a real battler, she can mix it up with the Lynn golfer. We think the rest of our line-up stacks up evenly with Lynn’s,” said Moore.

NCAA DII is the only major college or amateur championship that uses the Medal-Match Play format.

Instead of winning holes to determine the winner, the winner is determined by total strokes played and all 18 holes are played in every round by every player.

“It really is just about like stroke play. In true Match Play you can shoot a big number and only loose one hole, in this version you can’t take any big numbers because the total number of strokes determine the winner,” said Moore.

Live scoring will be available starting with the 8:AM matches on Golf Stat https://results.golfstat.com/public/leaderboards/gsnav.cfm?pg=match&tid=24968

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