USF women's golf wins Big East championship
USF women's golf placed four golfers in the overall top 10 and held off Notre Dame to win the Big East championship on Tuesday in Orlando, edging the Fighting Irish by a single stroke.
Christina Miller shot her second straight 73 to lead USF, finishing one stroke behind the individual champions at 8-over. The Bulls had three other players -- Kelli Pry, Shena Yang and Amy West -- finish in the top 10. USF entered the day with a five-stroke lead, saw that disappear during the round, then rallied back for a 2-stroke lead with three holes to play.
"They finished with some enthusiasm, finished with a little gusto, getting the ball close, being able to have that putt for par," coach Marci Kornegay said by phone after the Bulls clinched their win on West's tap-in putt. "The exciting thing about this team is that we're so deep. We've been led this entire year by Christina Miller, but this week, we led from behind, led from the middle and led from the top. That was a difference-maker. Especially when the going got tough, we could reach out to all five girls to find out where we'd get the shots from."
USF's players played better golf down the stretch -- Notre Dame's four rounds that counted toward the team score were a combined 8-over on their final five holes, while USF's were just 2 over. Pry, the lone senior on USF's roster, and West both played par golf in that stretch.
USF now moves on to the NCAA regionals and will learn its draw on Monday when the field is announced -- the Bulls are likely to play at Penn State, with regionals running May 7-10.
It's just the fourth Big East championship in USF history -- men's and women's tennis just missed with runner-up honors on Sunday. USF has won Big East crowns in women's tennis (2007), men's soccer (2008) and men's tennis (2009), with softball winning a regular-season crown and men's soccer winning its division in the regular season.