Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com
STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. - Central Michigan women's golf coach Cheryl Stacy would have liked lower scores from her players throughout the three-day John Kirk Panther Intercollegiate.
But what she saw in Tuesday's final round was encouraging, and something on which to build.
Holly Hines shot 77 and the Chippewas recorded a 319 team score, by far their best of the 54-hole event, to finish at 994.
All five Chippewas turned in their best score of the event, which was hosted by Georgia State at Eagle's Landing Country Club.
"I was encouraged by today's round," Stacy said. "It was much better. They were definitely, as a whole today, a lot happier and more hopeful."
The Chippewas finished 15th in the 15-team field, but they improved greatly after an opening-round 345 on Sunday and a second-round 330 on Monday.
"I think they were definitely very discouraged after the first round," Stacy said. "The whole team went to the putting green, in the rain, and practiced. No other team was out there. Another coach said, `Great to see your determination.'
"A couple put way too much pressure on themselves the first round. I think they learned that too much pressure on yourself doesn't work. They got together and talked about making as many pars as they could."
Also for CMU on Tuesday, freshman Bria Colosky shot 80, Kristen Wolfe and Natalie Johnson both carded 81, and Hannah Matthies posted an 82.
Colosky's three-round 245 total gave her a team-best 67th-place finish in the 83-player event.
"Bria was very consistent," Stacy said. "I feel like she's on the verge. She was in contention to shoot a low round today, but she tripled bogeyed her last hole."
Hines finished 72nd at 247. Johnson finished at 250, Matthies at 255, and Wolfe at 258.
Hines' Tuesday 77 was one shot off her career-best 76. She and Wolfe both birdied their final hole of the tournament.
Finishing strong, or at least coming down the stretch at a steady pace, is a point of emphasis going forward, Stacy said.
"I think a few of them today started thinking about their rounds in trying to come in and par the last four or five holes instead of playing one shot at a time as they had throughout the rest of the day, and that just puts more pressure on them," she said. "There's a lot of little things that they're learning."
The Chippewas, who have played three tournaments in the last three weeks, will take a 10-day break from competition before the Dolores Black Falcon Invitational, hosted By Bowling Green, at Stone Ridge Golf Club in Bowling Green, Ohio.
"We have a little bit of time before our next tournament," Stacy said. "I think this stretch in March, where we played a lot of golf, was a lot. We'll regroup and get back at it."
Elon shot its second-consecutive 297 team score on Tuesday to finish at 887 and win the tournament, 12 shots ahead of runner-up Western Kentucky.
Kelsey Badmaev of Elon shot a 4-under 68 to finish the tournament at 5-under 211 and claim medalist honors. Martina Edberg of Cal State-Fullerton was second with a 3-under 213.