GLENCOE, Ala. – The FGCU women’s golf team concluded play at the 15th Annual Chris Banister Golf Classic at Sliver Lakes Golf Course on Tuesday by improving its team score for the third straight day to finish in sole possession of third place out of a field of seven teams.
Holding on to fourth place entering Tuesday’s final round, the Eagles fired a 303 on the last day to slide up another spot to third. An opening round 316 on Sunday put the Blue and Green in fifth place, but their two-stroke improvement (314) on Monday moved the team into fourth place heading into Tuesday.
“This weekend was a great starting point and confidence builder for the team,” said first-year head coach Meghan Spero. “Although we started a little rusty, I felt that the players showed what they were made of and are now really focused on improving for our next tournament at Waterlefe.”
With a tournament low round score of 299 on the final day, host Jacksonville State took the team title with a three-day score of 899 (300-300-299), while Lamar University claimed second place with a 927 (309-308-310). Jacksonville State’s Lucia Fernandez took home medalist honors with rounds of 73-72-72/217 (+1). Fernandez defeated the second place finisher by nine strokes.
Sophomore Briana Carlson’s (Inverness, Fla./Citrus HS) final round one-over par 73 was the second-best round of the afternoon and the low round of the tournament for the Eagles. Highlighted by an eagle on the par-5, 16th hole and a tournament-high nine birdies, Carlson finished in a two-way split for third place in the field of 41 with a score of 228 (77-78-73).
Paring 32 of the 54 holes at the event, newcomer Megan VanEtten (Trinity, Fla./J.W. Mitchell HS) paced the Blue and Green through the opening two rounds. The freshman ended the three day tournament in a tie for 10th position with a 76-77-79/232.
Also contributing to FGCU’s third round score were seniors Lina Elmsater (Solna, Sweden/Pfeiffer University) and Katerina Toomalatai (Palm Coast, Fla./Flagler Palm Coast HS). Finishing with six birdies, Elmsater tied for 17th with a three round total of 237, highlighted by a two-over par 74 on Tuesday. Tomalatai’s 77 in the final round was her best score of the tournament.
For the weekend, the Eagles finished third amongst the field with 26 birdies, third in par 3 scoring (3.30/+18), fourth in par 4 scoring (4.47) and par 5 scoring (5.32), and ranked fifth with 137 pars.
The Blue and Green will now get ready for the Waterlefe Invitational in Bradenton, Fla., hosted by USF. The three-day event is set for the opening round on Sunday, October 3, with the final round scheduled for Tuesday, October 5.
FGCU Final Results
T-3. Brianna Carlson 77-78-73/228
T-10. Megan VanEtten 76-77-79/232
T-17. Lina Elmsater 87-76-74/237
T-24. Katenna Toomalatai 79-85-77/241
34. Fabienne Haremza 84-83-82/249
Final Team Leaderboard
1. Jacksonville St. 300-300-299/899
2. Lamar University 309-308-310/927
3. Florida Gulf Coast U 316-314-303/933
4. Mercer University 315-307-315/937
5. Butler University 327-309-310/946
6. Samford University 315-321-314/950
7. Evansville, Univ. of 319-330-333/982