Florida Tech Women’s Golf Wins First National Championship
Panthers Defeat California State San Marcos in Program’s Final Season
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — The Florida Tech women’s golf team won the 2019 NCAA Division II National Championship on Saturday at PGA National’s Champion Course.
The Panthers clinched the program’s first team National Championship in impressive fashion as they defeated No. 3 California State San Marcos 4-1 in the match play final.
Florida Tech announced in February that the women’s golf program was being discontinued at the end of this spring, and the team claimed the ultimate prize on the very last day of the program’s existence.
This team’s journey to the top since that devastating day has the making of the next great sports movie. A perfect script with themes of disappointment and perseverance; an us against the world attitude that culminates with absolute jubilation as the team is crowned as champions. Something that could never be taken away from them.
On this day, the only people who could have denied the women’s golf team this awesome conclusion was battling head-to-head with the Panthers for 18 holes at the Champion Course.
Cal State San Marcos featured the best player in the nation in 2019 national champion Jaime Jacobs and had just knocked off the defending NCAA Champion Indianapolis just one day earlier in the semifinals of match play. But none of that mattered in the finals, at least not to Tech who only focused on their play and what they could control.
All five Florida Tech golfers got off to a great start at the championship match. Lucy Eaton tapped in for birdie on 1 to open the day but she then double-bogeyed the second hole and from there, her opponent took over momentum. Eaton fell behind by as much as six shots on the 12th. However, she fought her way back over the final six holes and won the Panthers their first point with a birdie on the 18th.
Paola Ortiz controlled her match with Bergen Benedict throughout. The senior grabbed an early lead on the first hole and then built her advantage to as much as five strokes on the back nine before earning a 4-shot victory and handing Tech its second point.
After a back-and-forth start to her match with Savannah Magallon, Megan Dennis quickly grabbed a 6-shot lead on hole 6. She stayed steady the next nine holes before holding on for a 1-shot win. Her victory in the match put the Crimson & Gray up 3-0 and secured their national championship.
A double-bogey by Jamie Jacob allowed Noelle Beijer to corral a lead early on in her match. Jacob was able to regather herself on back 9, and after taking advantage of some miscues by Beijer she was able to pull out a win and give CSUSM its first point.
In another dominant showing, Lauren Watson earned a wire-to-wire victory against Claire Hogle in the fifth group. Watson grew her lead to as much as five on hole 6 and eventually won by a 3-stroke margin to give the Panthers a 4-1 win.
This marks the third team NCAA title in the school’s history and the fifth NCAA National Championship overall. This is the second NCAA championship in program history along with Daniela Iacobelli’s individual crown in 2007.
Florida Tech vs. California State San Marcos National Championship Match
Lucy Eaton def. Breann Horn – 1 Up
Paola Ortiz def. Bergen Benedict – 4 Up
Megan Dennis def. Savannah Magallon – 1 Up
Jaime Jacob def. Noelle Beijer – 5 Up
Lauren Watson def. Claire Hogle – 3 Up