Coming from behind for the second time in as many tournaments, the Daytona State Women’s Golf team won the LPGA International Xavier Invitational Sunday at the par-72, 6084-yard LPGA International Legends course in Daytona Beach, Florida. 14 teams participated in the three day, three round invitational event.
Daytona State (305-290-299 894) finished the tournament 13 strokes ahead of second place University of Montana (299-310-298 907). Host Xavier University finished third (310-304-301 915). Campbell University (305-313-302 920) and Stetson University (314-306-305 925) rounded out the top five.
The Falcons were led by individual champion Mitsuki “Mickey” Katahira (69-69-72 210) whose three round 6 under par performance put her 8 shots ahead of second place finisher Alex Buelow of Stetson University. Katahira was the only performer to post a below par final score.
When asked about Katahira’s performance, Head Coach Laura Brown commented, “Mitsuki is like a machine. She works harder than any player I've ever seen and she is just an amazing player. Her goal this year is to win every tournament as an individual and I think she is well on her way. I have been so impressed with her work ethic and her passion and love for the game of golf is phenomenal.
Fellow Falcon Ericka Schneider (77 67 77 221 +5) finished third overall while freshman Kelly Miller (79-78-74 231 +15) tied for 15th. Just one shot behind, Amy West (80-76-76 232 +16) tied for 22nd and Cassie Cleary (80-85-82 247 +31) finished the tournament in 65th place.
After Friday’s initial round, Daytona State found themselves in second place and six strokes behind Montana University. However, Montana’s lead was erased when Brown’s Falcons posted a tournament best team round of 290 on Saturday. Schneider led the Falcon charge with her career low round and tournament best 67. Daytona State kept Montana at bay on Sunday by posting another solid team score of 299.
On coming back to win another tournament, Brown said, “This is another great win for my team. Once again, they have proven how determined they are to win both as a team and individually. Having a group of players this talented is really fun and I enjoy watching them grind out every shot. They know how important each shot is and they each play with so much heart. Once again, they stepped it up a notch when they needed to and put forth a tremendous effort to put them in a position to win.”
The Falcons return to action when they participate in the 32nd Annual FIU Pat Bradley Invitational at the Pelican Preserve Golf Club in Ft. Myers, Florida on October 31-November 2.