‘The Uprising’ of USF Women’s Gold Continues at The American Championship

DATE: APRIL 16, 2019

USF finished the conference tournament in fifth place – four spots and 34 shots better than the Bulls’ performance at the event last spring.

PALM COAST, Fla., APRIL 16, 2019 – The uprising of the USF women’s golf program continued in the final round of The American Championship on Tuesday.

USF placed fifth in the 10-team field – four spots better than last spring – after carding its best round at this year’s event with a 4-over 292. The Bulls’ total team score of 890 was a 34-shot improvement from their 2018 tournament performance at Hammock Beach Resort’s Conservatory Course (par 72, 6,276 yards).

Jacqueline Twitty led the Bulls in her first-ever AAC Championship appearance. The senior from Chapin, S.C., carded a 1-under 71 in the final round and placed ninth in the 50-player field at 1-over. Twitty collected five of her eight total birdies in the final round of the event and tied for the team lead with four top-10 finishes this season.

Fellow senior Natalia Villavicencio finished her productive two-season USF career in a tie for 23rd place. The Santiago, Chile native made three birdies Tuesday and tied Twitty for the team lead with eight overall.

Freshman Ramya Meenakshisundaram (Jacksonville, Fla.) carded her second straight round of 73 and finished in a tie for 23rd place with Villavicencio. Meenakshisundaram completed her solid debut season at USF with a team-leading eight top-25 finishes and four top-10 performances.

Senior Sophie Stone (Oxford, England) and junior Sadie Dewinton-Davies (Newtown, Wales) helped USF finish the season in stride by each posting counting scores of 74 in the final round.
 
USF Scores

5South Florida295303292890
9Jacqueline Twitty (3)737371217
T23Natalia Villavicencio (1)708075225
T23Ramya Meenakshisundaram (2)797373225
30Sadie Dewinton-Davies (4)777774228
T31Sophie Stone (5)758074229

 
Quotable
Head coach Erika Brennan on the Bulls’ conference finish and how much the team means to her:
“What a way to finish the year! Going into the tournament, we felt good and knew we could finish ahead of where we were ranked, so to achieve that feels really good. This group of girls is so special – they never realize all that they’ve done to push me to be a better coach. It’s so hard to say goodbye to these seniors and there were a lot of tears after that final put fell. They bought in and are totally sold out for ‘The Uprising.’ It’s been the biggest highlight of my career to have the honor of coaching this group. They’ve worked relentlessly to establish the culture for the future of the program. They are the foundation! They’re special, so very special!”

Assistant coach Dalton Stevens’ thoughts on the impressive finish and special group of seniors:
“What a way to finish the conference championship with our best round of the event. We played a great front nine and conquered those holes, which we hadn’t done the first two days. This is a special team that has laid the foundation for our future. True year one, and to finish in the top half of the conference in a very strong conference is promising for the years to come. This team has been through a lot of adversity and it’s been a very successful year where we have won twice. Tough to say goodbye to a great group of seniors, as they are ‘The Uprising.’ We wish them the best of luck after graduation and can’t wait to see them continue to succeed. The future is bright for Bulls golf!”
 
Notables

  • Tuesday marked USF’s sixth top-five finish in 10 events this season. The Bulls captured two tournament titles and posted a pair of runner-up finishes in the first full season under head coach Erika Brennan and assistant coach Dalton Stevens.
  • USF finished The American Championship with the third-most pars (178). Sophie Stone ranked fourth in the field with a team-leading 39 pars.
  • USF also ranked third in the field with a par-4 scoring average of 4.19.
  • Jacqueline Twitty tied for the fourth-best par-3 scoring average of 2.92 (-1).

 
About USF Women’s Golf
Nine-year veteran head coach Erika Brennan completed her first spring season with USF in 2018. Juniors Natalia Villavicencio and Maria “Nani” Merchan highlighted the 2017-18 season, combining to post four top-10 performances and 11 top-25 finishes, including eight in the spring. The 2018-19 roster includes three newcomers: transfers Jacqueline Twitty and Sadie Dewinton-Davies along with freshman Ramya Meenakshisundaram. The Bulls opened the 2018 fall season with a runner-up finish at the USA Intercollegiate and also placed second at the FIU Pat Bradley Invitational to wrap up their four-tournament run before the spring. In the spring opener, USF captured the program’s first tournament team title since April 11, 2017 with a two-shot victory at the Florida Challenge. USF finished up the regular season with a 22-shot win at the John Kirk Panther Intercollegiate on April 2.

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