Campbell leads by seven after 18 holes of Big South Championship

Desiree Andersson
(Matt Stamey photo)
Desiree Andersson (Matt Stamey photo)

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NINETY SIX, S.C. – With four golfers among the top seven individuals, Campbell owns a seven-stroke lead after Monday's first round of the Big South Conference women's golf championship at The Patriot Golf Course at Grand Harbor. 

Freshman Desiree Andersson turned in a 3-under-par 69 to claim a share of the 18-hole lead with the second-lowest score in Big South women's championship history.  She is tied with Shelby Thompson of Charleston Southern atop the individual leader board, two strokes in front of Presbyterian's Celia Mansour.

Campbell shot a one-over 289, the third-lowest team score in Big South women's championship history, to finish the day seven clear of Charleston Southern (296) and nine strokes in front of Gardner-Webb (298) in the nine-school field.

"Our ladies played a very solid back nine," said Campbell head coach John Crooks, whose team is seeking its fourth Big South title in six years.  "We really struggled early today, but they were working and doing a good job. Towards the end of the round some good things happened to put us in good position."

The 50th-ranked and top-seeded Camels played the back side of the par-72, 6045-yard Davis Love III design one-under par, and were six-under over the last six holes.

A native of Hollviken, Sweden, Andersson was even at the turn of the par-72, 6045-yard Davis Love III design. She made four birdies in a five-hole stretch concluding with the par-three 15th before finishing with a bogey on the par-five 18th hole.  Her 3-under 69 bettered her previous collegiate best by two strokes and fell just one shy of the Big South Championship record 68 set three times, most recently by Campbell's Louise Latorre in 2014.

"It was an incredible round for Desiree. She drove it well, chipped it well, putted it well and fought well," said Crooks.  "When good players are playing well, they make it look easy. I'm very proud of her."

Andersson and Thompson both made six birdies on the day to lead the 45-golfer field. Andersson was 1-under on the par-3 holes (T3rd), 2-under on the par-four layouts (2nd) and even on the par-five holes.

Juniors Ayelen Irizar and Annelie Sjoholm are tied for fourth place at one-over 73, while defending champion Nadine White is tied for seventh at two-over 74. Sophomore Anna Svanka is tied for 29th at 7-over 79.

"Nadine made some birdies on the back nine, so did Annelie and Ayelen, and that's the difference," said Crooks. 

In addition to leading the field in birdies (15) and tying with Winthrop with 54 pars, the Camels played the par-four holes at 8-over, tops in the event, while playing the par-three layouts at one-under (tied with Winthrop).

Last year's Big South runner-up and this season's league leader in stroke average (73.46), Sjoholm was 3-over after making bogey on the par-four 11th hole. However, she birdied the par-five 13th and 18th holes to shoot her second-best score ever in conference tournament play.  Sjoholm played the par-five holes at 2-under, tied for first in the event.

Irizar turned in her best-ever 18-hole score (73) at a conference tournament by making three birdies over the last five holes.  She played the par-3 holes at 1-under, tied with Andersson for third in the field, and made 11 pars on the day.

White, who entered the event with the second-lowest scoring average among Big South golfers (73.92), played the front nine even and leads the field with 14 pars entering Tuesday's second round. Svanka made three birdies on the day in her first conference tournament round.

Tuesday's second round begins at 8:00 a.m. with Campbell golfers set to tee off at 9:40 a.m.  The 54-hole tournament concludes Wednesday. Live scoring is available at Golfstat.com.

In his 26-year career, Crooks has guided his Campbell women to 13 conference championships, including the Big South crowns in 1993, 1994, 2012, 2014 and 2016.  His teams have made 19 NCAA regional appearances and have advanced to the NCAA Championship three times, including two of the past three seasons.

2017 Big South Conference Women's Golf Championship
Ninety Six, S.C. / The Patriot GC at Grand Harbor
Apr. 17-19, 2017 / Par 72, 6045 Yards

First Round Team Results: 1. Campbell 289, 2. Charleston Southern 296, 3. Gardner-Webb 298, 4. Winthrop 302, 5. Presbyterian 303, 6. High Point 304, 7. UNC Asheville 313, 8. Longwood 320, 9. Radford 321. 

First Round Individual Leaders: T1. Desiree Andersson (Campbell) 69, T1. Shelby Thompson (Charleston Southern) 69, 3. Celia Mansour (Presbyterian) 71, T4. Ayelen Irizar (Campbell) 73, T4. Annelie Sjoholm (Campbell) 73, T4. Samantha Vodry (High Point) 74.

Other Campbell Individuals: T7. Nadine White 74, T29. Anna Svanka 79.

Tuesday, April 18 / 8:00 am / Second Round Tee Times
8:00-8:40 am / UNC Asheville, Longwood, Radford (No. 1 tee)
8:50-9:30 am / Winthrop, Presbyterian, High Point (No. 1 tee)
9:40-10:20 am / Campbell, Charleston Southern, Gardner-Webb (No. 1 tee)

Wednesday, April 13 / 8:00 am / Final Round Tee Times
8:00-8:40 am / 4th-place team, 5th-place team, 6th-place team (No. 1 tee)
8:30-9:10 am / 7th-place team, 8th-place team, 9th-place team (No. 10 tee)
8:50-9:30 am / 1st-place team, 2nd-place team, 3rd-place team (No. 1 tee)
2:30 pm (approx.) / Awards Ceremony

The Big South will announce its 2017 all-conference, all-freshman, all-academic and all-championship teams plus the annual individual award winners on Wednesday, April 19 at the post-championship awards ceremony.