The Sacred Heart women’s golf team finished the third and final round with a program and tournament single-best round of 287 to capture its first Northeast Conference Women’s Golf Championship on Sunday, April 23.
The Pioneers, wearing yellow in honor of assistant coach Don Samatulski who passed away in March, blazed the field to set a new NEC team record 54-hole score of 888 (+24) in the tournament at LPGA International. The previous low score was 898 set by LIU Brooklyn in 2014. SHU set a new NEC Championship single-round scoring record Sunday, going one-under as a team to best the record set Friday by 10 strokes. Over the weekend, the Pioneers set new NEC Championship marks for lowest team score after 18, 36, and 54 holes.
Three golfers set new career single-round low scores in the third and final round as Sacred Heart finished with four golfers in the top 10 on the leader board. After having just two sub-par rounds as a program heading into the weekend, SHU had five in the NEC Championship.
Ellen Nighbor claimed the individual championship in a playoff with teammate Chelsea Sedlar who won as a freshman a season ago. Both golfers finished the tournament at +2. Nighbor made par on the playoff hole to win the individual title after carding a 76 for her final round. Sedlar posted a career-low 70 on Sunday, setting a new program record for lowest round.
Junior Abigail Hood had a sensational final round as she also shot 70 to tie the Sacred Heart single-round scoring record. After an even par front nine, she came out of the turn with back-to-back-to-back birdies at the 10th, 11th and 12th hole to move to 3-under par. Her round helped her move up four spots on the individual leader board to take fourth place.
Senior Stephanie Lowe also moved up four spots on the leaderboard Sunday as she set a new personal-best with a one-under 71. She recorded her first career eagle on the par-five fifth hole. Lowe finished in eighth place at +12. Junior Alejandra Perez finished the tournament tied for 20th at +25.
The tournament crown earned the Pioneers an automatic berth to the 2017 NCAA Championship. They closed their first NCAA Regional with a third-round score of 311.