Barnes Makes Program History as Upstate Finishes 8th at A-Sun Championships
Jekyll Island, Ga. – For the second time in the history of the program, and the second time this season, all five Spartans shot rounds in the 70's as Upstate leapfrogged Lipscomb to finish eighth at the A-Sun Championship Wednesday afternoon, while Taylor Barnes recorded the top individual finish in the history of the program at the A-Sun Championship.
The A-Sun Championship was played on the Pine Lakes course at the Jekyll Island Golf Resort. Upstate's eighth-place finish tied its best-ever finish in the conference tournament. The Spartans shot 307 in the final round and tossed out a 78 to record its lowest round of the season.
In addition to the strong final round and its history-tying effort of placing all five scores in the 70's, Upstate achieved its goal of breaking the program's single season stroke average record. With the 307, Upstate finished the season with a 322.04 stroke average, beating the 2008-09 squad, which averaged 322.24.
"They not only stayed with it, but excelled today," said Upstate head coach Todd Lawton. "Everyone came through on the back nine. Rachel and Brittany shot 1-under on the back nine. Everyone fell in love with their rounds and it was a really, really good day. I couldn't be more proud. Our putting has been a little off, but today, we did really well and that made the difference. You have to keep taking steps in the right direction and we did that today."
Upstate shot 311 and stood eighth on the leaderboard after the first round before falling into ninth behind Lipscomb with a 316 in the second. The Spartans, though, wanted a piece of history and went out and got it in the final round. Brittany Lowe (Spartanburg, S.C.) and Rachel Reiling (Littleton, Colo.) each shot 76 in their rounds Wednesday to lead the Spartan attack. Malika Allie (Cape Town, South Africa) carded a 77, and Barnes (Spartanburg, S.C.) and Amanda Hall (Tega Cay, S.C.) each shot 78 as Upstate finished with a 307 to take eighth place back from the Lady Bisons.
ETSU led wire-to-wire, shooting a 302 in the final round for an 880 total. Kennesaw State finished second at 886 and was followed by Florida Gulf Coast (887), Mercer (893), Stetson (905), Jacksonville (907), North Florida (920), Upstate (934), Lipscomb (937) and Northern Kentucky (990).
Barnes led Upstate in the tournament. She shot all three rounds in the 70's – 77, 74 and 78 – to finish tied for 16th on the individual leaderboard. The 16th-place finish was the best individual finish ever by an Upstate women's golfer in the A-Sun Championship, besting Jennifer Judge's 17th-place effort in 2010.
"I'm really excited for Taylor," said Lawton. "She really put it together over the last few tournaments and stepped up to lead us. I am so proud of her effort and how she closed out her career."
Lowe and Reiling each finished with 235 totals and finished tied for 36th, while Hall was one stroke back at 236 and 39th place. Allie finished was tied for 42nd with a 244 total.
Kennesaw State's Ines Lescudier finished the tournament at 6-under-par to win the individual championship.