The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor women's golf team went into Thursday's third round of the NCAA Division III Women's Golf National Championships with its back against the wall. While the Cru was able to hold its ground, the team could not claw its way back over the cut line. UMHB finished in 17th place and missed out on the 15-team cut to play in Friday's final round.
The Cru fired a final round 333 to finish with a 333-352-333=1018 team total for 17th place and missed the cut by 18 strokes. Wisconsin-Whitewater claimed the final spot in Friday's field with a 15th-place total of 350-330-320=1000 and Washington and Lee took 16th place at 339-338-335=1012 to finish six strokes ahead of UMHB. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps has the 54-hole lead with a 311-317-316=944, and Williams College is second with a 311-322-315=946 total. George Fox University moved into third place with a 952, New York University is fourth with a 957 and Carnegie Mellon rounds of the top five at 959. A 25-team field competed in the first three days of the event.
McKenna Ralston posted the low individual round on Thursday for UMHB with a 78 that featured two of the team's five birdies. Olivia Robinson recorded the low overall finish for the Cru with an 84-83-80=247 to tie for 38th place. Robinson missed advancing to Friday as an individual by just three strokes. Ralston fired an 88-86-78=252 to tie for 56th place, Annie Hasselbach recorded an 81-90-85=256 and she also had a pair of birdies on the day to earn a share of 70th place. Emily Ming carded an 80-93-90=263 to tie for 92nd, and Cassidy Rawls finished with a 95-99-92=286 for UMHB and tied for 108th place. Margaret Loncki of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps has a one-stroke lead in the individual race after firing 77-75-72=224.
"We didn't have the finish we wanted at the National Tournament, but I couldn't be more proud of this group of young ladies," Cru Head Coach Jackie Ralston said. "With all of the struggles and adversity we went through this spring, we were thrilled to win our conference and make it to the national championship. It was a wonderful way to end the careers of Emily and McKenna and a great experience for the three that will be returning."
UMHB was making its first appearance in the NCAA Division III National Championships since a Runner-Up finish in 2014. The Cru was the only Texas program to make the field. Thursday's round also closed out the UMHB careers of seniors Ming and Ralston. The Cru also won its first American Southwest Conference championship in five years this spring.
The four-day, 72-hole event is being played on a par-72, 5,804-yard layout on the El Campeon Course at Mission Inn Resort in Howey-In-The-Hills, Florida. The 15 remaining teams and low six individuals not on one of those teams will tee off for Friday's final round beginning at 7:30 am Eastern Time.