Kyle Brodt, Staff Writer
Both Wingate Golf teams had strong showings this year at the SAC Tournament with the women taking the title and the men finishing third in the competition. The women’s championships, hosted by Newberry at Member’s Club at Woodcreek, was a runaway with the Bulldogs winning by a whopping 26 strokes. They were led by sophomore Mind Puangcharoen, who won the individual title with her 54-hole total of 232, edging out Queens junior Cameryn Smith by just one stroke.
Coach Erin Thorne said the team, “Couldn’t be happier,” for Puangcharoen, who also grabbed her first career collegiate win at the championships. Laura Nunez Rodriguez and Diana McDonald also had strong performances, finishing tied for fourth with each other and giving Wingate three golfers on the All-Tournament first team. The women will travel to Germantown, TN for the NCAA Division II Championships hosted by Christian Brothers University at Germantown Country Club.
The men improved on a disappointing tenth place finish last season, finishing in third and putting three golfers in the Top 15 of the individual rankings. The Bulldogs finished with a total of 891 at Cobb’s Glen Country Club in Anderson, SC, 13 strokes short of champion Carson-Newman, and were unable to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Coach John Hackney, in his first year at the helm, expressed the disappointment that the team felt after the finish, “We were disappointed not to win, obviously, because we knew that’s what we needed to get to the tournament.”
The team was led by fifth place finisher Charles Joubert, who tallied an even-par 216 for the three days and made the All-Tournament First Team. The Bulldogs had a one-shot lead heading into the back nine on Tuesday, but played holes 11-14 at eight over par and could not recover. Coach Hackney believes the team will use this experience and improve coming next season. “We will be even better next year and be ready to make a postseason appearance.”
Edited by Brendan Shriver