Erica Pellegrini, the two-time Garnet Valley All-Delco, had quite a month of March playing golf at The Citadel, where she is a sophomore.
Pellegrini capped the month Monday when she carded an 81 to finish in a tie for 37th at 163 in the Low Country Intercollegiate held at Moss Creek Golf Club in Hilton Head, N.C.
Pellegrini’s finish helped the Bulldogs compile a 335 total in the second round and finish 15th in the team standings.
The Citadel’s Bree Baumgartner also had a top-50 finish as she had the Bulldogs’ best round on the second day with a 78 for a 166 total.
Pellegrini opened the month by making some history when the Bulldogs teed it up at Hilton Head Invitational in Bluffton, S.C.
Pellegrini fired a 4-over 76 to best the field in the one-day, three-team event March 4. In the process, Pellegrini became the first women’s golf individual champion in the history of the program at The Citadel. She led the Bulldogs to a second-place finish with a 342 total that was 16 shots back of Appalachian State. Tournament host Dayton was another 18 shots behind The Citadel at 360.
Later that week, Pellegrini was named Southern Conference Golfer of the Week and once again it was a program first as she was the first player at The Citadel to earn SoCon weekly honors.
In between the Hilton Head Invitational and the Low Country Intercollegiate, Pellegrini helped the Bulldogs finish 12th at the Spider Invitational, hosted by Richmond at the St. James Plantation’s Reserve Course in Southport, N.C. Pellegrini had rounds of 88, 84 and 91 for a 263 total that left her in a tie for 47th.
Teammate Alanna-Jean Keith led the way for the Bulldogs with a 261 total that left her in a tie for 43rd.
Bernard battling at Bucknell
Lauren Bernard, the Notre Dame product who claimed the Philadelphia Women’s Amateur championship last summer, is having a solid sophomore season at Bucknell.
Bernard, a member at Aronimink Golf Club, had the Bison’s low round, a 75, to help them finish ninth in the UNCW Seahawk Classic Sunday at Wilmington, N.C.
The Bison were led by Bridget Wilcox, who opened the event with a 71 and added a 76 and 78 for a 225 total that left her in a tie for 19th place.
The second round was suspended, so Sunday included the completion of that round and the entire third round. Wilcox’s 71 led Bucknell to a 306 opening round, which it followed with 311 and 312 for a 929 total. East Carolina won the title with a tournament-record 866 total.
You have to give the Bucknell program credit for hosting the Bison Challenge St. Patrick’s Day weekend — at Paiute in Las Vegas.
Unfortunately the weather wasn’t completely cooperative and the 54-hole event had to be shortened to 36 holes. Bucknell finished fourth of five teams with a 634 total.
Bernard had the Bison’s low round of the second day, a 76 in high winds. Kasha Scott (80-77) and Wilcox (79-78) led the way for Bucknell with 157 totals that left them in a tie for 11th. Bernard’s first-round 83 gave her a 159 total and a 16th-place finish.
Bucknell traveled to Kiawah Island, S.C. in late February and earned their best finish ever in the Edwin Watts/Kiawah Island Classic, an event that features 33 teams.
The Bison posted a 309 total in the final round to finish 13th. They were just two shots out of 11th place and finished second among their fellow Big South teams in the field.
Bernard rallied after a rough opening round of 90 with an 80 and an 81 to finish in a tie for 158th at 251. The Bison were led by Minjoo Lee, who had rounds of 76, 73 and 77 to finish in a tie for 17th at 216. Scott had a final-round 73 and finished in a tie for 48th at 231.
The Bison will compete in the Big South Tournament, which gets under way the day after Easter at The Patriot Club in Ninety-Six, S.C. Bernard finished second in the event a year ago, the highest finish ever for a Bucknell player.
Tiger back in the winner’s circle
It seems reports of Tiger Woods’ demise as a player at the highest levels of the game were a bit premature.
Woods looked pretty tough in winning the Bay Hill Invitational, an event he has taken more than his share of checks from in his career. It was his first win on the PGA Tour since before the fire- hydrant thing and subsequent revelations about his extra-marital dalliances seemed to rob him of some focus.
The Masters is just a week away now and with Tiger, Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson all playing at a high level, it will be one of the most highly-anticipated weeks at Augusta in some time.
When Tiger teed it up there two years ago, it was something of a circus sideshow with guys hiring prop airplanes and dragging comical messages across the Augusta skyline. Still, Woods finished in a tie for fourth. Last year he was dealing with divorce, an ouchy knee and rebuilding his swing. Finished fourth again.
Hmmm. This time, he’s a lot healthier — that walkoff at Doral notwithstanding — and he seems to have finally incorporated all his swing changes — for at least the third time in his career — into something he can trust again.
You think he’ll be a factor? Yeah, me too.
Almost forgot, 443 days until the 2013 U.S. Open tees off at Merion Golf Club’s East Course. Wonder if Tiger will still be stuck on 14 major championship victories when that day dawns?