After two full rounds were not enough to decide a champion, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor women’s golf team dominated the second playoff hole to win the 2018 American Southwest Conference Championship Tournament Tuesday in Austin. UMHB’s McKenna Ralston also won individual medalist honors in the tournament.
The Cru and U.T.-Tyler both ended regulation play tied with 636 team totals. With all five players playing each hole and the low four scores counting for each team, both teams finished the first playoff hole at one over par. UMHB then clinched the conference title with a birdie from Olivia Robinson and three pars on the second playoff hole to win the sudden-victory playoff by seven shots. The Cru posted a 316-320 while the Patriots shot 322-314 in regulation. Hardin-Simmons finished in third place with a 325-327=652, Concordia Texas finished in fourth place at 336-324=660 and U.T.-Dallas rounded out the top five with a 337-330=667. An eight-team field competed in the tournament.
Ralston fired a 76-74=150 to win individual medalist honors by two strokes. It is her first ASC Individual title and the tenth overall for the Cru women. Mackenzie Ralston was the last UMHB golfer to win an ASC Individual title when she captured her second straight crown in 2015. Cassidy Rawls shot 80-80=160 to tie for seventh place for the Cru, Robinson carded an 81-82=163 to tie for 11th place, Annie Hasselbach fired an 84-84=168 to tie for 16th place and Emily Ming tied for 20th individually after shooting 79-94=173.
“It was pretty awesome and nerve-wracking. Emily Ming made a downhill, eight-foot putt on #1 to get us to the second playoff hole and we pretty much took off from there,” Cru Head Coach Jackie Ralston said. “We had such a hard spring after a great fall and we have had to overcome so much to get to this point. I told the girls that great stories come from adversity and we have had it. I told them to enjoy today and stick to our game plan. That is what we did and it is so exciting to see that hard work pay off.”
This is the 11th overall ASC Championship for the UMHB women’s golf program and the Cru’s first since 2013. The UMHB women have finished first or second in 18 of the 20 all-time ASC Championship Tournaments.
The two-day, 36-hole tournament was played on a par-72, 5,826-yard layout at Avery Ranch Golf Club in Austin. The Cru also clinches the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III National Championships with the victory. The 2018 NCAA Division III Women’s Golf Championship will be played May 8-11 at Mission Inn Resort in Howey-In-The-Hills, Florida.