Seminole State College of Florida’s women’s golf team started the spring season in record-breaking form as they dispatched the competition en route to a decisive tournament victory at the inaugural World Golf Village Invitational, hosted by Flagler College, in St. Augustine.
“They did even better than expected,” says Raider Head Coach Christa Teno. “We set some goals at the start of the year, and the team has already passed those goals, so we’re going to have to rethink them and aim even higher.”
In the two-day event, the Raiders scored consecutive team totals of 296, achieving a school-record two-day total of 592 and coming out on top among the 14-team field. Host Flagler College finished at No. 2, 19 strokes behind Seminole State, and the third-place University of North Carolina at Pembroke trailed the Raiders by 24 strokes. Both UNC Pembroke and Flagler are among the top-ranked programs in Division II of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), at Nos. 6 and 24, respectively.
The Raiders, who were ranked No. 2 nationally in the National Junior College Athletic Association’s (NJCAA) final poll heading into the spring, placed four golfers in the top 11 individually at the World Golf Village Invitational, including three of the top five. In all, 72 golfers took part in the event.
Raider freshman Chanya “Phon” Angwarawong, of Thailand, and sophomore Joanna Yoo, of Orange Park, Fla., tied for second place, and Jisu “Victoria” Choi, of British Columbia, tied with Flagler’s Stephanie Tucker for fourth. All three Raiders are currently ranked in the top 15 nationwide among NJCAA golfers (Nos. 3, 12 and 15, respectively).
Freshman Essence Biggs, of Beverly Hills, Mich.; and sophomore Stormy Staton, of Crawfordsville, Ind., both improved on their first-day scores to contribute 75-stroke rounds on day two, and Kelsey Jensen, of Plant City, Fla., finished the tournament just outside the top 20.
“We’ve been working on a lot of things individually, and with each player’s performance being so good, we can already see the practice paying off,” Teno says.
This is the Lady Raiders’ fourth overall tournament victory in the program’s six-year history. The other three No. 1 finishes all came last spring during Seminole State’s run to an NJCAA Region 8 championship, which ended with the Raiders earning national runner-up honors.
“What we’re doing is working,” Teno says. “We’re on the right track. But we’re not all the way there yet, and the girls realize we’ve got a lot left to do. We’re not taking anything for granted.”
Raider women’s golf continues tournament play Feb. 24-26 at the Lady Moc Golf Classic at Eaglebrooke Golf Club in Lakeland, and they will cohost the Magnolia Spring Break Classic at Magnolia Plantation Golf Course in Sanford the first week in March. To view the complete golf schedule, visit the women’s golf website.
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