CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The Baylor women's golf team earned its first victory of the 2012-13 season by winning the Hurricane Invitational. The Lady Bears shot a second round 5-over-par 289 and a final round 11-over-par 296 on Tuesday at the Deering Bay Yacht and Country Club.
Baylor (+31; 298+289+296=883) began the day by completing the last four holes of round two, which were postponed due to darkness on Monday. Baylor's score of 289 launched the team into first place, and the Lady Bears held a seven-stroke lead heading into the final round.
"It's a hard golf course, and this was a marathon of a golf tournament," head coach Jay Goble said. "We got out there at 6 a.m. yesterday and didn't leave until 7 p.m., and didn't finish our second round. So as you can imagine, it was an absolute golf marathon. And for us to finish first in a tournament like that, it's a credit to our conditioning and all the hard work these girls put in, because they haven't played a golf tournament in three months. To come out this early and play well is great."
Goble, who is in his second year leading the Baylor program, coached Baylor to its fourth tournament title in only 14 regular season tournaments during his tenure.
The championship round began immediately after the second round. Baylor was able to maintain its lead and edged out Texas State (+35; 292+302+293) by four strokes. Tournament host Miami (+46; 301+300+297=898), Oklahoma State (+50; 301+298+303=902) and Mercer (+67; 299+313+307=919) rounded out the top five.
Lauren Taylor (+2; 72+72+71=215) took third place individually, finishing six strokes behind medalist Kelsey Vines (-4; 70+68+71=209) of Oklahoma State and two strokes behind Texas State's Krista Puisite (E; 71+70+72=213).
"Lauren's just solid. She doesn't make many mistakes," Goble said. "I really think if she would have made putts this week, she would have won by 15 shots. She hit the ball spectacular all week. She's been putting in a lot of hard work on her golf game over the winter break, and it's definitely paying off. She just needs to get a little more comfortable on the greens, and she's going to be tough."
Emma Carberry (+3; 76+67+73) finished tied for fourth, recording her first-ever top-10 finish. Hayley Davis (+17; 73+71+86=230) finished tied for 27th place, Natalia Perez (+19; 77+81+74=232) tied for 33rd and Annette Lyche (+21; 77+79+78=234) tied for 39th place.
"Emma's been playing solid all year," Goble said. "I just think she's getting more and more consistent in tournaments. And it was really exciting to see her come out this morning and birdie a hole in her second round to shoot 67."
Laura Lonardi (+12; 74+77+74=225), who competed as an individual, tied for 16th place in her first collegiate tournament after joining the Baylor program in January.
"Laura, I think, is going to be in our lineup for a long time. She's really solid," Goble said. "The adjustment factor with her just getting here in January, I figured it might be best to bring her to the tournament and play as an individual and get used to college golf and then go from there. And she did great. She struggled to finish every day, but she came in with three pretty solid scores and they all would have counted for us. She'll be in the lineup next week when we go to California."
The Lady Bears return to action when they travel to Los Angeles, Calif. to compete in the Northrop Grumman Invitational, which begins Feb. 11.
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