It was the epitome of team golf as the Campbell Fighting Camels won their second straight team title at the River Landing Classic, which wrapped up Tuesday at River Landing Golf Club’s River Course in Wallace, N.C.
Campbell, No. 50 in the latest Golfstat rankings, was under par in each round, putting together a pair of 2-under-par 286 rounds in Monday’s double-round played in cold and windy conditions and finishing it off with a 3-under 285 Tuesday over the 6,082-yard, par-72 River Course layout for a 7-under 857 total. The Camels were coming off a team win in the Amelia Island Intercollegiate.
East Carolina, the highest-rated team in the field at No. 31, surged in the final round with an 8-under 280, the best team round of the tournament, to earn runnerup honors at 4-over 868, 11 shots behind Campbell. No. 65 Memphis finished third at 7-over 871, three shots behind East Carolina, after a final round of 3-over 291.
No. 98 Charlotte finished up strong with a 1-under 287 to take fourth at 15-over 879 and No. 117 Marshall was another three shots behind Charlotte in fifth at 18-over 882 after a final round of 5-over 293.
No. 118 Rutgers, behind a sparkling performance by individual champion Emily Mills, a senior from Colts Neck, N.J., got a share of sixth with Central Arkansas at 23-over 887 as the Scarlet Knights fired a 1-under 287 in the final round. Central Arkansas matched par in the final round at 288.
It was a bit of a disappointing outing for No. 120 Seton Hall, although the Pirates finished up strong with a solid 5-over 293 in the final round that left them in 10th place in the 14-team field at 46-over 910. Something tells me there’s a little game within the game when Rutgers and the Hall are in the field.
Campbell’s international cast was led by Annelie Sjoholm, a senior from Sweden who finished third in the individual standings, and Ayelen Irizar, a senior from Argentina who was one of four players tied for fourth.
Sjoholm was steady throughout, sandwiching an even-par 72 in the second round with a pair of 1-under 71s for a 2-under 214 total that was two shots behind Rutgers’ Mills. Irizar opened with a sparkling 5-under 67 while many players were struggling in the difficult conditions and added a pair of 2-over 74s for a 1-under 215 total.
Stacey White, a sophomore from Australia, gave Campbell a third finisher in the top 10 as she finished up with 1-under 71 to end up tied for 10th at 1-over 217. Desiree Andersson, a sophomore from Sweden, finished tied for 12th at 220, her effort highlighted by a 2-under 70 in the second round.
Isabell Ekstrom, a freshman from Sweden, entered River Landing Classic as the Camels’ top player, but finished tied for 23rd at 222. But typical of the Campbell effort, Ekstrom put a bad round of 80 Monday afternoon in the rear-view mirror and finished up with a sparkling 3-under 69.
White and Andersson had picked up Ekstrom in that second round as each had 2-under 70s. When White and Andersson struggled in the opening round with a 76 and a 75, respectively, Irizar picked up the team with her 67. You want anyone in your starting five to be capable of being around par or maybe a little better in any given round and the Camels got just that in this victory.
Mills struggled in the opening round with a 4-over 76, but seemed to figure out the River Course after that, firing a 3-under 69 in Monday afternoon’s round and then delivering a dazzling 5-under 67 in the final round that gave her a 4-under 212 total and a one-shot margin of victory over Memphis’ Emily Goldstein, a senior from Chesterfield, Mo. Goldstein opened with a 3-under 69 and closed with a 3-under 69 around a 3-over 75 in Monday afternoon’s round for a 3-under 213 total.
Joining Campbell’s Irizar in the foursome tied for fourth at 1-under 215 were Central Arkansas’ Fernanda Lira, a senior from Mexico, East Carolina’s Kate Law, a junior from Australia, and Marshall’s Stormy Randazzo, a freshman from Rowlett, Texas. Lira finished up with a 2-under 70, Law, after opening with an 80, ripped off rounds of 67 and 68, and Randazzo closed with a 1-under 71.
A young Seton Hall team was led by freshman Mia Kness, the 2016 PIAA Class AAA champion as a senior at Peters Township, and Lizzie Win, a sophomore from Sylvania, Ohio, both of who landed in the group tied for 33rd at 8-over 224. Both had steady even-par 72s in the final round.
Cassie Pantelas, a senior from Canton, Ohio, finished 49th at 228, her effort highlighted by an even-par 72 in Monday’s second round. Sophomore Maddie Sager, the runnerup in the 2015 PIAA Class AAA Championship as a senior at Owen J. Roberts, finished tied for 59th at 234. Sager had a solid 2-over 74 in the final round after struggling to rounds of 81 and 79 in Monday’s difficult conditions.
Rounding out the starting lineup for the Hall was senior Macky Fouse, the 2013 PIAA Class AA champion as a senior at Central Valley. Fouse finished tied for 67th at 238 after a final-round 78.
Seton Hall coach Natalie Desjardins took three more of her Pirates along to compete as individuals as she tries to solidify her top five.
Sophomore Sammie Staudt, the former Coatesville standout, had a solid showing, finishing tied for 53rd at 231. After struggling to an 80 in the opening round, Staudt rebounded with rounds of 76 and 75.
Gianna Tomeo, a junior from Bradenton, Fla., finished tied for 76th at 245 after a final-round 83 and Jamie Greene, a senior from Troy, Mich., finished 82nd at 262 after posting an 80, her best round of the tournament, in the final round.