PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (May 25, 2017) – For the second straight year, weather caused the NAIA Women’s Golf National Championship to be cut short. Despite being in close proximity to making the cut and only eight strokes out of the top 15, the No. 16 Milligan College women’s golf team landed 19th at this year’s national tournament.
Rain forced Tuesday’s round to be finished Wednesday morning and Wednesday’s round to be finished Thursday morning. With several teams still unable to complete their second round until the end of the day Thursday, the decision was made to shorten the tournament by one round and make the cut after round two. The top 17 teams qualified for the final round which will take place Friday. Milligan missed the cut by five strokes.
Milligan scored rounds of 335 and 334 for a total of 669. Faulkner University grabbed the last spot in making the cut at 664.
Sophomore Sarah Son will continue play as one of the top 40 individuals as she holds a share of 32nd place through 36 holes. Son led the Buffs with rounds of 83 and 77 (160) to claim their top spot.
Next down the line for Milligan individually was senior Cassidy Gibson (84-83), junior Megan Gaylor (85-84), junior Michaela Matheson (83-91) and senior Ann Sullivan (89-90).
The national event wrapped up another great season for Milligan women’s golf. The Buffs finished in the top two in the last four events leading up to the national championship, including winning the NAIA AAC Direct Qualifier on April 18. The fall portion of the 2016-17 season also proved to be a successful part of the season for Milligan as the Buffs finished top three in all four events.
Gibson ended her remarkable senior season and even more remarkable career. This season she was named Milligan’s Most Outstanding Female Athlete of 2016-17 after she earned the Appalachian Athletic Conference Player of the Year honor as well as medalist honors at the Direct Qualifier.
This year marked the third time Gibson has participated at the NAIA National Championship. In the previous two, she finished 20th (2016) and 61st (2015) individually.
For fellow senior Sullivan, the event wrapped up an outstanding career as well. Sullivan was the AAC Player of the Year herself as a freshman in 2013-14 and was an instrumental part in getting Milligan to the national championship these three straight seasons.
This was the second straight season the national championship was heavily influenced by rain. Last year, the event was shortened to two rounds over the span of four days and the Buffs still managed to pull a great result. Gibson landed 20th place individually to lead then-No. 13 Milligan to 13th as a team. The Buffs were within 11 strokes of the top four.
Two seasons ago, then-No. 24 Milligan went through three rounds of the national championship but missed the cut for the final round by one stroke. Gibson led the Buffs with a 61st-place finish individually and then-freshman Gaylor led the charge over the third round with a team low 79 on Thursday.
The third round of the 2017 NAIA Women’s Golf National Championship is set to tee off Friday morning at 7:30 a.m. ET. Son will look to improve her individual standing over the final 18 holes.