No. 22 women fall short against nation’s No. 3 golf team

By Savannah Pullin

The 22nd-ranked Baylor women’s golf team is at it again.

Following one of the most successful fall seasons in program history, the ladies began their spring season with a second-place finish over the weekend in Sorrento, Fla., at the UCF Challenge hosted by University of Central Florida.

The Lady Bears finished the first round on Sunday at 4-under-par to take a one-stroke lead over Auburn. Baylor finished as one of four teams under par through 18 holes.

“We had a really good day Sunday,” said first-year head coach Jay Goble. “The course set up a little easier because of the windier conditions, but our team played solid overall.”

As second-round play continued on Monday, Auburn played well enough to tie the Lady Bears for first place at seven-under. Both teams were two of only three to shoot under-par for that day.

Freshman Hayley Davis finished the day in first place with a one-stroke lead. Baylor’s best individual round came from senior Chelsey Cothran.

“Chelsey played really great,” Goble said. “She had a hand injury and was unable to practice and play like she wanted to before the tournament. She was uncomfortable Sunday, but for her to come back the way she did was fantastic. She leads by example.”

Cothran shot a career-low-tying 68, leaving her tied for 13th with Sternebeck.

“The biggest thing Monday was that we played with the No. 3 team in the nation (Auburn) and hung with them all day,” Goble said. “It shows that we can compete with anyone. We have a good chance to win Tuesday if we remain patient.”

With a three-day total of 1-over-par, the Lady Bears let Auburn take the lead and finished second on the final day of play at the UCF Challenge. This is the fourth straight tournament in which Baylor has finished either first or second.

“It was really windy throughout the day and we got off to a really bad start,” said Goble. “We put ourselves in a hole right from the start. Looking at all three days, instead of just looking at the final round, I like the way we’ve started the spring.”

Cothran and Davis finished tied for fourth overall at 1-under-par. For Cothran, it was her fourth consecutive top-five finish.

Davis continued her stellar freshman season, finishing in the top 10 in all five collegiate tournaments – her fourth top-five showing.

“We’ll take the positives from Florida and move forward to the next tournament,” Goble said. “We’re going to be ready.”