Persson medalist as Women's Golf places 2nd at RN-T Invite
By Matt Green
ROME – Sophomore Lisa Persson fired a two-day total of 5-over 149 to take medalist honors and lead the Shorter University women's golf team to a second place finish at the Rome News-Tribune Invitational hosted by Coosa Country Club in Rome.
Persson, the reigning Southern States Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year, shot 74-75 over two days to win the tournament by three strokes over Kaitlin Allan of Lindsey Wilson. As a team, the Lady Hawks shot 312-314-626 to finish six strokes back of tournament team champion and SSAC rival Lee, who turned in a two-day total of 309-311-620 highlighted by four top eight individual finishes.
Shorter was just as good, playing with only four players after freshman standout Pauline Schoop was forced to withdraw in Monday's first round with an ankle injury.
Without a throw out score, the Lady Hawks contended until the final hole. Maria Bengtsson took third by shooting 77-76-153 (+9), Gabriela Murcia finished tied for 11th with a two-round tally of 78-83-161 and senior Petra Muller played to a 17th place finish with a final score of 83-80-163.
Persson's tournament title is her first of the spring and third overall this season. The 2011 NAIA All-American won a pair of tournaments during Shorter's fall preseason schedule this season. Shorter has placed first or second in five of its seven tournaments in 2011-12.
University of the Cumberlands (650), Lindsey Wilson College (654) and Young Harris College (677) rounded out the top five teams in the tournament. Lee's top finisher was Courtney Shelton, who shot 154 over her two days to place fourth. Lee's Sloan Skinner and Madison Alexander tied for fifth with identical scores of 155 and Geandra Almeida was tied for eighth at 159.
Tournament host Berry College finished ninth out of 15 teams. Shorter's SSAC rival Truett-McConnell placed 13th.
Shorter freshman Isabella Baldacci competed as an individual and was exceptional throughout the tournament. She finished in a tie for 11th by shooting 82-79-161. Caitlyn Cook also entered as an individual and placed 26th (169).
The Lady Hawks return to the links next Monday and Tuesday, March 12 and 13, when they compete in the Lee University Invitational held at Cleveland Country Club in Cleveland, Tenn.