Lady Cardinals repeat as Southland Conference Champions
For three consecutive days the Lamar women’s golf team had to hold off charges from three different schools seeking to knock the Lady Cardinals off their perch, but in the end it was the Red and White that was flying high as LU defended its Southland Conference crown Thursday afternoon on the par-72 High Meadow Ranch Golf Club course.
The Lady Cardinals fired 304-299-301 – 904 to hold off Oral Roberts by six strokes. Lamar posted the best round of the day as it added one stroke to its second-day lead.
Lamar ended the tournament with all five players in the top 13, including four in the top 10. The Lady Cardinals’ youth movement paid dividends over the course of the three days as Lamar’s roster consisted of a junior, sophomore and three freshmen.
“We knew coming in that we had a target on our back and we were going to get everyone’s best shot,” said head coach Brian White. “It wasn’t our best tournament of the season, but we made the shots when we really needed them. We had different girls step up every day. I’m so proud of how they fought through every situation even when things weren’t going our way.”
It was a freshman that paced the Lamar attack, but it wasn’t the freshman that everyone expected heading into the tournament. Mid-year enrollee Kelly Erasmus entered the tournament as the team’s No. 5 player on the ladder, but she posted the team’s top score with a 76-73-76 – 225 to finish fifth on the individual leader board.
Classmate Wenny Chang had struggled in the first two rounds posting an 11-over par, and was fifth on the team’s scorecard but she finished strong. Chang fired a one-over 73 to move into the overall top-10 and help secure the team’s second-straight title. Chang posted a 228 and finished tied for seventh overall. Chang finished tied with teammate Nghi Ngo who was consistent throughout the three rounds. The team’s most veteran player at the tournament was Ngo – a junior. Ngo fired back-to-back-to-back rounds of 76.
Sophomore Taylor Stockton closed out the scoring for the Lady Cardinals with her 10th-place finish. She recorded a three-round 77-76-76 – 229 to finish 10th overall.
Freshman Bertille Dupont rounded out the championship push by posting a 79-74-79 – 232. She finished 13th overall.
It marked the second time Lamar has repeated as Southland champions, and it is the ninth conference title in program history. It also marks the sixth time in White’s career that he has guided Lamar to either a Southland men’s or women’s title.
“The credit has to go to the kids,” said White. “They are the ones who are dedicated to putting in the long hours and hard work. They sacrifice a lot to get to this point, and it is the greatest feeling in the world to see all that hard work pay off.”
The NCAA Women’s Golf Regional Selection Show will be Monday, April 28th at 5 p.m., and will be aired on the Golf Channel.