KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – With senior Emily Rymer and junior Kit Creighton finishing second and third respectively, and redshirt junior Emma Marlatt in the top-10 as well, Florida Southern pulled away in the second round Sunday to win the 2015 Tusculum College/Kiawah Island Intercollegiate.
Florida Southern's tournament victory was its first since winning the 2013 Sunshine State Conference Championship, but it marked the fourth time the Moccasins have won the Kiawah Island Intercollegiate in their ninth straight year as participants. The Mocs also won in 2008, 2009, and 2011, while finishing as the runner-up on two other occasions. Their 2-day, 2-round total of 590 was their best in this tournament since 2009 when they finished with a 586. That's the only time the Mocs have ever had a better score at Kiawah Island.
After breaking 300 on Saturday for the first time in five tournaments this season, Florida Southern bettered its 297 with a 293 on Sunday. That gave the Moccasins their best 2-round tournament score since October of 2010, when they also had a 590 at the Nova Southeastern Invitational.
The Moccasins finished seven strokes ahead of runner-up Montevallo, which actually had the best team score of the day with a four-over par 292. It wasn't enough to catch Florida Southern, but it did move the Falcons ahead of Northwood (FL) and Limestone, which finished third and fourth respectively. Limestone had started the day just one shot behind Florida Southern, but had to count three 77's and a 79, all of those scores worse than anything the Moccasins counted on Sunday.
Leading the charge for Florida Southern were Rymer (Orlando, Fla.) and Marlatt (Chapel Hill, N.C.). Rymer followed a 71 from Saturday with a two-under par 70 on Sunday, while Marlatt shot a 73. Creighton (Buffalo, N.Y.) and freshman Abbey Williams (Marietta, Ga.) each turned in scores of 75. The Moccasins' fifth golfer, redshirt sophomore Shannon McKew (Cockeysville, Md.), had an 89.
As one of only two golfers in the field of 79 to break par each day, Rymer finished second in the individual standings with her 141, four shots behind Elsa Westin of Northwood. The 141 was the best ever shot by any Moccasin at Kiawah Island, surpassing a 143 by Kim Ulander in 2007, and a 143 by Marianne Andersson in 2009. Westin carded a record-tying 67 for Northwood on Sunday to pull away for the win. However, Florida Southern owned the top-10 overall, with Rymer second, Creighton third, and Marlatt tied for seventh.
It was Rymer's fourth top-five finish in five tournaments this season, and Creighton had the first of her career. Only a record score by Westin prevented Rymer from winning the tournament. Westin's 137 broke the previous Kiawah Island Intercollegiate record set by Rollins' Joanna Coe in 2009.
Williams tied for 13th with a total score of 153, and McKew tied for 63rd with a 170.
Florida Southern will be back in action next week, February 16 and 17 when it hosts the Lady Moc Classic at Grasslands Golf and Country Club.