BRYAN, Texas – The fourth-ranked Alabama women's golf team completed one of the biggest wins in school history on Wednesday afternoon with a one-shot win at the 2010 NCAA Fall Preview at the Traditions Golf Club, which will host the 2011 NCAA Championships in May.
"I was really proud of how our team performed this week," Alabama head coach Mic Potter said. "Our goal is to compete and play for SEC and national championships, and to have that happen you have to be in contention in the big tournaments against the best teams. We did that with a lot of success this week, and it will help us down the road to have the belief that we can beat anyone on any given day."
The Crimson Tide shot a 5-under-par 283 in the final round for a 54-hole total of 849 that edged LSU by a single stroke. The Tigers shot 8-under 280 in the final round behind the 65 of Megan McChrystal, who captured medalist honors at 10-under-par 206.
The 15-under-par 849 is a school record in relation to par – 11 strokes better than the 4-under-par 848 on the par-71 NorthRiver Yacht Club last spring to win the SEC Championship. The 849 also set the Traditions Golf Club 54-hole course record, shattering the mark by 34 strokes (Southern California, +19, 2006 NCAA Central Regional).
Alabama got consistent performances throughout its lineup with three players finishing in the top 10 and all five in the top 37 of the 93-player field.
"I think the nature of college golf has changed over the last few years," Potter said. "In the past you could thrive on one really good score. These days you have to be able to back those scores up with scores around par. Depth wins tournaments, not just one really good score, and we have good depth. Our No. 5 player this week was Courtney (Harter), and she is the only player on our team to have ever won a college tournament."
Senior Camilla Lennarth and junior Brooke Pancake both paced the Crimson Tide attack with 5-under-par totals of 211 to finish tied for fourth. Sophomore Jennifer Kirby also vaulted up the leaderboard on Wednesday with a career-low 66 to earn a top-10 finish. True freshman Stephanie Meadow finished tied for 25th while senior Courtney Harter tied for 37th.
Kirby's 6-under-par 66 was the catalyst for the Crimson Tide's round of 5-under par. The native of Paris, Ontario, Canada, carded eight birdies and just two bogeys to post the lowest round of her career and finish tied for ninth at 4-under-par 212. She shot 32 (-4) on the back nine, including three straight birdies on the 12th, 13th and 14th holes, to lead help seal the team win.
Lennarth, a native of Stockholm, Sweden, turned in an impressive round of 2-under-par 70 on Wednesday to finish with a career-low 211 after a second round 65. She made only one bogey over her final 39 holes while carding 11 birdies (-10) en route to a tie for fourth place.
Pancake, who opened with a career-low 65 on Monday, shot her second straight 1-over-par 73 in the final round to equal the lowest 54-hole total of her career with a 211. The 5-under-par 211 was also a career best in relation to par, topping the 2-under 211 at the 2010 SEC Championships.
Harter shot her second consecutive 74 (+2) on Wednesday to finish tied for 37th. True freshman Stephanie Meadow shot 75 to record a top-25 showing at 3-over-par 219.
Southern California finished third in the team race at 8-under-par 856 with Duke fourth at 860 (-4) while Georgia rounded out the top 5 at even-par 864. The SEC also saw Vanderbilt finish sixth (+2, 866), Auburn 12th (+31, 895) and Tennessee 18th (+48, 912).
Alabama returns to action on Sept. 24-26 at the Mason Rudolph Women's Championship at the Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tennessee.