PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL – For the second time in the tournament, Amanda Gartrell shot a one-over par 73 to lead the Moccasins in scoring, and with a 74 from Tori Higgins part of it, Florida Southern had another 308 in the final round of the GolfRank Invitational to place eighth overall.
The Moccasins had scores of 306 and 308 on Monday, and their second 308 of the tournament allowed them to move up one spot in the final standings and finish four shots ahead of Florida Tech, and nine ahead of West Florida. Their 308 was also six shots better than Rollins, which entered the final round in first place, but the gap between the Moccasins and Tars was too much to overcome, and the Tars' 314 dropped them all the way from first to fifth in the final standings.
Instead, it was Barry that won the team title after an even-par 288 in the final round gave the Buccaneers a 4-shot victory over Lynn. The Bucs had been sixth after round one and fourth after round two before making an even bigger jump on Tuesday. Host Nova Southeastern and Saint Leo tied for third place, eight shots behind Barry, and Rollins finished 14 shots behind.
Gartrell led the Mocs in scoring for the second time in the tournament, turning in her second 73 to finish at seven-over par 223. That was good for a ninth-place tie and her second top-10 finish of the season. After back-to-back bogeys on third and fourth holes of the day, the sophomore birdied four of the next seven and added another birdie later in the round. That gave Gartrell five in the round (a tournament-high on Tuesday) and eight in the tournament, which was tied for third best behind Tilda Larsson of Barry who had 10, and three other golfers who had nine.
Abbey Williams, who shot an 80 on Tuesday, was Florida Southern's number two finisher in the tournament with a 232 that tied her for 33rd. She equaled Gartrell's score on the back nine Tuesday with a +1.
Higgins' final-round 74 was bettered only by the pair of 73s from Gartrell among Moccasin golfers playing as counting team members, and it allowed her to climb into a tie for 43rd with Madison Wetzel in the final standings at 236. Higgins was looking at an even-par score before a double-bogey on her final hole dropped her to two-over for the day; and though Wetzel was nine-over on Tuesday with an 81, she actually spent most of the day with a score similar to Higgins at +2.
Victoria Cangero had Florida Southern's fifth score in the final round with an 82 and tied for 51st with an overall mark of 239.
Though she wasn't playing as part of the team, freshman Shelby Lewis still turned in an impressive showing as an individual. Her 73 on Tuesday tied Gartrell for the best score by any Moccasin in the tournament and included a remarkable run of 11 consecutive holes of even-par at one point in the middle of her round. Lewis tied for 27th with a total score of 230, six shots and 16 places better than any of the other 16 golfers who were competing as individuals.
Florida Southern will return to action next week, October 16 and 17, at the Saint Leo Invitational, being played at Lake Jovita Golf & Country Club.