+ College Golf

O’Sullivan and Converse win at home

Converse University won its second tournament championship of the year with a win on their home course in the Converse Spring Invite at the Carolina Country Club in Spartanburg. (GolfClub Photo)

Converse University golf coach Patti McGowan goes into every tournament with a score in mind for her Valkyries team.

Building the women’s golf program at the Spartanburg school, McGowan had seen teams be competitive when they posted scores right around 300.

“Actually now it is even a little lower, ” said McGowan. “So our 298 in the first round was what we needed,” she said.

The Valkyries used the 298 team total to take a 7-shot lead over Newberry after round one and on a blustery second day Converse added to their lead to win their home event at the Carolina Country Club..

The Valkyries shot a second round 307 for a 605 total and a 13-shot victory over Newberry.

Freshman Ava O’Sullivan led from start to finish for her second college championship. (GolfClub Photo)

Converse was led by freshman Ava O’Sullivan who carded a 1-under par 71 to take a two shot lead into the final round.

Her second round 75 earned her a 5-shot win and her second individual title in her first year of college golf.

“I just tried to keep the ball in front of me,” said O’Sullivan. “I hit greens and played well and ended up winning,” she said.

Ava O’Sullivan earned her second individual championship

Ironically the Valkyries team score was identical, but reversed 307 -298 695 total, to the score the team posted to win the King Invitational back in September.

“A lot of good things have been happening for us and for all sports at Converse. There is just a good vibe about what is going on in athletics,” said McGowan.

After operating on a shoestring for many years, McGowan now has a few more resources she can use in recruiting for her team.

“Recruiting has made a difference, but the biggest difference has been the commitment to take all our sports to another level. You can just feel it around campus,” she said.

O’Sullivan and Stina Voight who finished 10th are both freshmen.

Lizzie Madden who is a sophomore tied for 7th, senior Phai Inpan was 6th and sophomore Helena Noel just missed a top-ten finish.

Converse coach Patti McGowan helped honor the Valkyries two seniors Kaylee Jacobs and Phai Inpan. (GolfClub Photo)

The Converse program is in its 11th year and is having its best year for both team and individual players success.

“I’m looking forward to playing the last two tournaments really well and see how good we can do as a team,” said O’Sullivan.

The Valkyries will play in the Lady Bearcat at the Greenwood Country Club at the end of the month and then compete for the Conference Carolinas championship in April.

Scores from the Converse Spring Invite https://results.golfstat.com/public/leaderboards/gsnav.cfm?pg=team&tid=27018

Franks has another top finish for USC

Nathan Franks may be one swing away from breaking through for his first college win.

The Dorman grad has been just a shot or two out of the running for a pair of wins.

He was in the mix again at the General Hackler tournament played at the Dunes Club in Myrtle Beach.

Franks having success at The Dunes should not have surprised anyone. Last August he finished second in the SCGA Amateur at the club.

Nathan Franks has a second and fourth place finish in his last two tournaments. (Gamecock Photo0

Franks used the momentum from a strong state am performance to play his way into the round of 16 at the US Amateur before beginning his second year in Columbia.

In the fall Franks shot a career best 7-under par 65 in the SEC Match Play Championship.

In Puerto Rico to start the spring Franks had a difficult final round to drop out of a top-20 finish, but from then on he has been near the top of the leader boards.

At the Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate Franks challenged for the win before finishing second, his best college finish.

At the Hackler, the Gamecocks finished 9th, but Franks was the one bright spot for the South Caroline team..

“Nate (Franks) played some really good golf, and he certainly carried us,” said USC coach Bill McDonald.

The Gamecocks have two tournaments left before the SEC championship.

Scores from the General Hackler https://results.golfstat.com/public/leaderboards/gsnav.cfm?pg=player&tid=25586

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