The University of the Cumberlands (UC) Women’s Golf team would battle the elements all week as they competed in the 2016 NAIA National Championship Tournament at Savannah Quarters Country Club in Pooler, Georgia.
UC would hold a share of the lead after the opening round of play before the 2nd round was cancelled. The Patriots would then play the 3rd and final round of play over a two-day span as the 4th round was cancelled due to weather as well. The Patriots would struggle a bit in the final round of play, but would still earn a high finish while one Patriot would play her way to the NAIA Individual National Championship.
UC would fire a team total of 309 in the final round of play to close the tournament with a score of 615 (+39), which would give the Patriots a T-4th place team finish, the best team finish in program history and the 3rd straight year that the Patriot ladies have earned a Top 5 finish at the National Tournament.
Sophomore Kaitlyn Riley (Lawrenceburg, KY) would use a performance good enough to tie a NAIA record in the final round of play to earn herself the NAIA Individual National Title. Her second round 68 is tied for the lowest 18-hole score in NAIA Women’s Golf National Championship history.
BY THE NUMBERS
Riley tied a NAIA Women’s Championship Tournament record by firing a 68 (-4) to finish the week with a score of 140 (-4), earning Medalist honors as the NAIA Individual National Champion, the first women’s golfer in UC history to win a national title.
Constanze Sieker (Mainz, Germany) finished T-30th after a score of 78 (+6) in the final round for a total of 154 (+10).
Rachel Pingleton (Parksville, KY) carded an 82 (+10) in the final round for a tournament total of 157 (+13), finishing in T-47th place.
Taylor Church (Henderson, KY) shot an 81 (+9) total 164 (+20) for the week which earned her a T-82nd place finish.
Annabeth McKay (Jefferson, TX) rounds out the team with an 86 (+14) in the final round for a 170 (+26) overall, finishing in T-104th place.
Head Coach Chris Kraftick commented, “It’s a day of mixed emotions as on the team side we came up short of our goal. Obviously on the flip side is Kaitlyn winning the individual National Championship and tying the 18 hole tournament record. I’m so proud of her and how she has matured over the last two years. She’s an amazing talent. It’s a great team that is so invested in each other.”
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Story courtesy of UC Multimedia/Athletic Services