WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Wake Forest used a record-setting performance to become the first three-time champion in the 13-year history of The Landfall Tradition Sunday at the Country Club of Landfall's Pete Dye Course.
The Demon Deacons surged into a tie for the lead after the second round and rode a tournament-record score of 289 during Sunday's finale to register a four-stroke victory over defending champion Alabama.
Sophomore Ashley Holder of UCF captured medalist honors with a three-round total of 209, tying the tournament record set by Vanderbilt's Chris Brady in 2004. Holder's score over the three-day event was 7-under-par.
After sharing the top of the leaderboard with Oklahoma State through two rounds, the Demon Deacons broke out front early on Sunday and blew past the rest of the 18-team field in impressive fashion. Sunday's 289 total snapped the Sunday record shared by Tulane (2004) and Wake Forest (2007) and the three-day score of 864 was 13 shots better than Purdue's total in 2005.
Wake Forest finished the tournament at even par with a score of 286-289-289=864. The Demon Deacons ended a six-year drought after winning the event in 2007 and 2008.
Trailing WFU in the standings was Alabama (868), Notre Dame (871), South Carolina (871), Virginia (872), Oklahoma State (873), Duke (876), Purdue (876), Florida (878), Arizona (881), UCF (881), N.C. State (884), Tennessee (885), North Carolina (889), Ohio State (892), UNCW (913), Michigan State (914) and Penn State (924).
UNCW finished 16th overall in the competitive field after fashioning a 300 score on Sunday. Meghan Thiess fired a 3-under 69 on the final day to move into a tie for 32nd with a three-round total of 78-74-69=221 on the Par 72, 6,159-yard layout along the Intracoastal Waterway. The junior from LaGrange, Ky., birdied four of five holes at one point on Sunday and was one of 10 players in the field under-par on the day.
“I thought the tournament was one of the best we've hosted in the 13 years,” said Cindy Ho, UNCW's veteran coach. “The conditions were excellent and the course was in excellent shape. The greens made it perfect for scoring and made for an exciting finish.
“From a spectator's point of view, it couldn't have been better. It was really an electric atmosphere with so many teams having an opportunity to win on the last day.
“I was really pleased with how we played the last two days. Today's score was much closer to the other ranked teams. We had some nerves on the first day, but we can build on this performance. I know 16th place doesn't sound very good, but the last two rounds were very competitive with the other teams. There are so many positives that came out of the tournament, so you can't use 16th place as a measuring stick. We kept fighting, and closed the gap on Ohio State, and that's all I can ask.”
The Seahawks wrapped up their fall season and play the first of our spring tournaments on March 13-15 at the Clover Cup in Mesa, Ariz.