Lamar women’s golf wins 4th straight SLC title

Published 11:09 pm Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Lamar sports information
McKINNEY — Led by medalist Wenny Chang, the Lamar University women’s golf team won an unprecedented fourth straight Southland Conference championship on Wednesday.
The Cardinals led from wire-to-wire as they finished eight strokes ahead of runner-up Central Arkansas. LU posted a final round of 307 on a damp and chilly day to finish at 898. Chang fired an even-par 72 in the final round on the 6,251-yard layout on the Hills Course of the Stonebridge Ranch Country Club to finish at 2-under-par 214, seven strokes ahead of Central Arkansas’ Fernanda Lira.
It was the first conference medalist honor for Chang, a junior, who lost in a playoff last year. Chang is the fourth LU women’s golfer to earn medalist honors, and the first since Stine Pedersen in 2011.
“It was a bit of revenge,” said Chang, who is seeking to become the Southland Conference Golfer of the Year for the second straight season after earning Freshman of the Year honors in 2014.
“Wenny is just so steady,” First-year coach Jessica Steward said. “Her emotional balance helps. She never loses her composure.” LU senior Taylor Stockton became the first women’s golfer in SLC history to be a member of four championship squads. Stockton finished third overall at 7-over 223 after a final round of 80.
“It feels great to be a member of four championship teams, it’s truly a memorable experience,” Stockton said. “We weren’t expected to win it all this year, but we wanted to prove that we are still a team to reckon with.”
The Cardinals held a three-shot lead after the first day and increased that advantage to nine strokes after Tuesday’s second round. Central Arkansas came out strong on Wednesday, cutting the LU lead to five strokes in the early going before play was halted for more than two hours because of heavy rain. The Bears managed to cut LU’s lead down to two strokes at one point before the Cardinals roared back on the closing holes.
“Sometimes it is tougher to play with the lead in the final round,” Steward said. “You tend to be too cautious. You still need to be offensive. We did that over the final holes.”
LU’s Olivia Le Roux finished tied for 16th at 233, Kura Poko was tied for 18th at 234, while Felicia Sauceda was tied for 21st at 237.
“Every one of our players contributed,” Steward said. “This is a special group, one that I will always cherish. I’m proud of each and every one of them.”The Cardinals clinched an automatic berth into the NCAA Women’s Golf Regionals that are scheduled for May 5-7 in four different locations. LU will learn where it is headed later this month.

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