DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The Coastal Carolina University women’s golf team won the 2021 Sun Belt Conference Women’s Golf Championship after Tuesday’s third and final round was rained. With the washout of day three, the scores through the second round were used to determine the championship. It was CCU’s second Sun Belt title with the first coming in 2018 and the sixth conference tournament championship since 2009.
The Chants rode their record performance in Monday’s second round, which moved CCU to 14-under and into the tournament lead, to victory. CCU finished the championship with a two-day total of 562 (284-278) that gave the Chants an eight-stroke victory over first-round leader Texas State, who finished second at six-under (279-291-570).
“It has been an incredible championship,” head coach Katie Quinney said. “I told the team not to change anything they were doing, just stay focused and play smart. I always thought coming into the tournament we had the best team, we just had to put everything out of our minds and play golf and that is what they did. They competed, they didn’t let the bad weather get to them in the second round, and they just played outstanding. I couldn’t be any more proud of a team than I am of this one.”
Sophomore Sophia Carlsen received the Sun Belt Championship low-medalist award finishing the championship with a seven-under 137. Her amazing run through the championship included eight birdies and only one bogey in the two rounds which included an error-free card during Monday’s second round. Carlsen’s finish is tied for the third-best 36-hole score in program history and she becomes CCU’s second SBC Championship medalist joining Malene Krolboll Hansen who won it in 2018.
“You could see this type of tournament coming for Sophia,” Quinney said. “No one on our team was trending towards this like her game has been. She has knocked almost five strokes off her stroke average from last year and she has just been playing each hole so smart and with a plan. She has been very coachable during this year and I could not be more excited and proud for her.”
Joining Carlsen on the 2021 Sun Belt Conference Championship All-Tournament team are Nicole Abelar and Tiffany Arafi. Abelar finished second overall with a five-under 139 which included a second-round score of 66. She led the team with nine birdies in the two rounds with only four bogeys.
Arafi finished tied for sixth with a two-under 142. She was just behind Abelar finishing with eight birdies during her two rounds of play.
Senior Frantiska Lunackova was the fourth Chanticleer to finish in the top-10 with her ninth-place finish. Her even-par 144 included a one-under 71 in the second round which saw all four of the Chants scorers finish under par.
Caitlin Evans-Brand finished tied for 49th overall with her 16-over 160. She shot 36-38 during the two rounds on the front nine, but could not keep that momentum going on the back nine.
CCU’s moving day, second-round 278, was the second-lowest team round in program history and was the Chants’ lowest round ever in conference championship action. The Chants’ 562 over the two rounds is the best 36-hole score in program history as is the 14-under par mark.
Behind second-place Texas State in third place was Georgia Southern at 13-over 589 (292-297). South Alabama was fourth with a 21-over 597 (295-302) and rounding out the top five was Troy with a 22-over 598 (301-297).
The rest of the field saw Arkansas State (+23, 599) finish sixth, Little Rock seventh (+27, 603), ULM eighth (+28, 604), Appalachian State ninth (+29, 605), Georgia State 10th (+32, 608), and UTA 11th (+46, 622).
The next stop for the Chants will be the NCAA Regional Championship with the selection show scheduled for Wednesday, April 28, which will be shown live on the Golf Channel. The broadcast time has not been released yet.