Florida Wins Inaugural SE Challenge Matches
The 12-golfer Florida team captured 14 out of a possible 24 points on Tuesday to win The Inaugural Women’s Southeastern Challenge Matches, conducted at The Country Club of Ocala. Florida trailed by one-and-a-half points following the opening day matches, but outscored both Alabama and Georgia in the individual matches. The final tally of points left Florida victorious with 24 points, while Georgia earned 20 ½, and Alabama 18 ½.
“We're really proud of the team,” Florida captains Meghan Martinek and Tracy Dachisen said, “They came back from behind and really pulled through. It was an exciting win.”
The Florida team was led by the seniors on the team; Lynda Case, Lin McMillan, Diane Lang, and Mary Jane Hiestand. With their veteran leadership, no senior on the Florida team lost a match.
“It was a great week.” Lynda Case, the 2012 FSGA Women’s Senior Champion said of the matches. “It was a great, friendly, competitive match for all of us.”
Mary Jane Hiestand, former Florida Women's Amateur Champion, and Diane Lang, three-time U.S. Women’s Senior Amateur Champion, continued their impressive performance separately during the second day of competition. Hiestand won both of her matches 6 & 5, while Lang defeated Cauthen, from Alabama, 3 & 2, and Pictor, from Georgia, 5 & 4. Mary Jane and Diane have been competing as a team for over six years, and are undefeated as a team in match play.
Meghan Stasi, three-time U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Champion, took her Curtis Cup experience and captured two points the final day, beating both Alabama and Georgia 7 & 6. When asked about her dominating performance today, she replied with a smile, “It was a lot of fun.”
Meghan enjoyed the matches, especially the alternate shot and better-ball format, because the matches were exciting and changed statuses quite frequently. During the alternate shot format, Stasi and partner, Kristine Odiayar, got on a roll after being down a couple holes to both Georgia and Alabama yesterday afternoon, where they won one match, and halved the other.
“Alternate shot was a great addition to the format,” Stasi said, “We don’t get a lot of chances to play that format.”
Tovie St. Louis and Wendi Golden of Florida also won both of their individual matches the second day.
“Today was a lot better,” St. Louis said of her round, comparing it to the day before, “My approach shots were really on today, and it is really nice to have putts conceded.”
Samantha Marks, 18, of Florida was new to the team-match play format.
Marks, a soon-to-be freshman at UNC Chapel Hill, said, “It was a great experience to be on the Florida team. There is not a lot of match play in junior golf, so I really enjoyed this opportunity to play on the team and represent Florida.” Marks will head up to Chapel Hill, NC in a week where she will be a freshman and rookie member of the UNC women’s golf team.
The Second Women’s Southeastern Challenge Matches will be hosted by Georgia in 2014.
For full results click here.