The Owls finished the three-day tournament at Venetian Bay Golf Club with an aggregate 7-over 871 (292-284-295). They held off East Tennessee State by four strokes.
After taking the lead from East Tennessee State on Tuesday, the Owls were able to fend off the Buccaneers’ final-round surge.
“This was a phenomenal win for this program,” fifth-year coach Rhyll Brinsmead said. “(Wednesday) was a round full of momentum shifts. I could not be more proud of how the team gutted it out. It wasn’t pretty, but we got it done, and this team deserves every bit of this.”
The early pressure by East Tennessee State sparked a rally for Kennesaw State, which fell behind two strokes after the first round. The Owls answered back and took a six-stroke advantage into Wednesday’s final round.
Kennesaw State allowed East Tennessee State to within one stroke of the lead Wednesday before putting the Buccaneers to rest.
In the end, junior Ket Preamchuen led the Owls with an even-par 216 for the tournament. She finished fourth overall behind East Tennessee State’s Gabriella Wahl and Mercer’s Lacey Fears, who tied at 213 before Wahl won the individual title in a playoff.
Ines Lescudier’s 2-under 70 in the final round put her fifth at 217. The freshman transfer from Tulane finished strong after a first-round 79, shooting a 68 — the second-lowest score of the tournament — on Tuesday.
Freshman Lea Charpier tied for seventh at 219, while freshman Kaew Preamchuen (222) and junior Molly Winnett (236) completed Kennesaw State’s scorecard.
A testament to the international flavor of Kennesaw State’s roster, Winnett was the only American player to account for the Owls’ score. Ket and Kaew Preamchuen are sisters from Thailand, while Lescudier and Charpier are from France.
Mercer (880) and tournament host Stetson (890) were the only others in the nine-team field to break 900 for the tournament.
Stetson’s Alexandra Buelow (215), East Tennessee State’s Mayte Vizcarrondo (218) and Sian Evans (219), Mercer’s Sarah Louie Brown (220) and Stetson’s Lauren Cate (221) completed the individual top-10.
The Owls will now wait to hear their destination for one of the NCAA regionals planned for May 10-12 in three sites — State College, Pa., Columbus, Ohio, or Erie, Colo.