Fort Myers, Fla. - The Stetson women's golf team saved their best play in the FIU Pat Bradley Invitational for last, carding a one over par 289 team score with three players at even par or better in Tuesday's final round at Pelican Preserve Country Club. The Hatters ended the tournament at 34 over par overall, good for sixth place in the 15-team field. Freshman Mallory Viera (Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.) shot two under par 70 to finish in a tie for 11th place individually at +4 for 54 holes.
Only tournament champion Ericka Schneider of Daytona State bested Viera's final round total, shooting 68 to come in -6 and win by four strokes over teammate Mitsuki Katahira and Chandra Alexander of North Texas. Viera was 10 strokes behind the winning 54-hole score.
Junior Lauren Cate (St. Augustine, Fla.) and freshman Sammi Smith (Louisville, Ky.) also played major roles in Stetson's strong final round as each shot even par 72. Cate tied for 14th place at six over par with Smith one shot back in a tie for 18th. Freshman Ryan Ashburn (Largo, Fla.) continued her improvement throughout the tournament, going from 80 on Sunday to 78 yesterday to a three over par 75 on Tuesday. She tied for 47th place at 17 over par while senior Alex Banham (Peterborough, England) shot her best round of the tournament as well with an 80. Stetson moved up from ninth place after 18 holes to seventh after 36 to a final positioning of sixth.
North Texas finished the tournament 12 over par to claim a narrow one-stroke victory over Daytona State in the team competition. Western Michigan took third at 23 over par with Maryland (+26) and host FIU (+31) also edging out the Hatters (+34). Cincinnati (+37), FGCU (+47), South Alabama (+57) and Florida Atlantic (+58) also finished in the top 10 with Troy (+65), Murray State (+70), Oakland (+76), Drake (+110) and Bethune-Cookman (+133) rounding out the field.
Stetson completes the fall season next week with the annual Holiday Inn Express Hatter Classic at Victoria Hills Golf Club. The 54-hole event, set for Nov. 8-9, will pit the Hatters against Pat Bradley foes Daytona State, B-CU, FAU and FGCU along with A-Sun rivals Lipscomb and USC Upstate plus Jacksonville State and McNeese State. Stetson will be shooting for its fourth consecutive title at its home competition.