The Daytona State College woman's golf team began their quest to repeat as NJCAA National Champions by winning the Lady Falcon Invitational at the LPGA International Golf Course in Daytona Beach, Fla.
With a score of 589, the Lady Falcons ended the tournament 18 shots over second place Florida Southern. West Florida University, Saint Leo University, and Embry-Riddle rounded out the top five.
The Falcons were led by tournament individual champion, Mitsuki Katahira, who after posting consecutive birdies on 13, 14, 15, and 16, ended play with the second day's low score of 67. Her two-day total of 140 placed her three shots ahead of fellow Falcon, and second place finisher, Amy West.
Daytona grabbed two additional top-10 finishes when Kelly Miller placed seventh overall with a score of 152 and Ericka Schneider placed 10th just two shots behind.
Regional rivals, Seminole State College, placed sixth due in part to the strong third place individual performance of Elia Folch Sola.
Falcon head coach Laura Brown had this to say about the Falcon's strong outing, "I am very happy and proud of my players on their impressive win today. They fought hard today and deserved this win. Amy West was four over par after six holes and fought back with five birdies to shoot a one-under par 71. Mitsuki and I worked on her putting after yesterday's round and made a couple of adjustments and it really came together for her today. I was also happy to see that my freshman, Kelly Miller, played so well. This is a great way for these young ladies to start the season and this win should provide them with a shot of confidence as they head into our next event."
When asked if the Falcons lived up to preseason expectations, Brown commented, "Our goal has always been to consider each season as an opportunity to improve our athletes both personally and athletically. This team has set some very lofty goals this year and they achieved the goals we set for this event so I think they are well on their way to having a successful season."
The Falcon's next tournament will be held at the Waterlefe Golf and River Club, In Bradenton, FL, when they participate in the USF Waterlefe Invitational tournament on October 4-5.
Pictured from left to right—Top row: Amy West, Mitsuki Katahira, Cassie Cleary, Ericka Schneider, coach Laura Brown, assistant coach Ashley Aguilera, Barbara Malone. Bottom row: Kaylee Random, Kelly Miller.