Daytona State’s Ericka Schneider shot a tournament low 68 on the final day of play to win the Pat Bradley Invitational, with a combined individual score of 210. This was the first individual title of the season for Schneider, who will be playing for Michele Drinkard’s Ole Miss squad next fall.
The 33rd Annual Pat Bradley Invitational, hosted by Florida International University, included 15 teams. The three day tournament took place at the Pelican Preserve Golf Club in Ft. Myers, FL.
Schneider, who was four shots off the lead coming into action on Tuesday, needed a perfect round of 68 to overcome fellow teammate Mitsuki Katahira and hold off charging Chandra Alexander of the University of North Texas. Schneider finished play with a total of 210, while Katahira and Alexander tied for 2nd with combined scores of 214.
Daytona State Coach Laura Brown had this to say about Schneider’s performance, “I was extremely proud of the way Ericka played throughout the entire tournament, but I was especially pleased with her performance on Tuesday. She controlled her emotions beautifully and really fought hard for this victory.”
Although Schneider would win the individual crown, it was North Texas that edged the Falcons for the team title, by one shot. In a seesaw fight to the finish, the Mean Green (294 294 288 – 876) maintained their slim lead on Tuesday to keep the Falcons (293 296 288 – 877) from winning their fourth tournament in a row.
Western Michigan (291 303 293 – 887) would finish third while Maryland (300 295 295 – 890) and Florida International (309 294 292 -895) rounded out the top five.
Local rivals Stetson University (311 298 289 – 898) finished 6th and Bethune-Cookman College (329 335 333 – 997) placed 15th.
Lead by Katahira and Schneider, the Falcons finished opening play on Sunday in second place trailing first round leader Western Michigan by two shots and held a one shot lead over third place team North Texas. On Monday, it would be the Mean Green’s turn to finish up by one shot, when they put together a team round which saw every member of the squad post scores in the 70's.
In final action on Tuesday, the Falcons made yet another tournament ending charge but North Texas failed to buckle under the pressure. Both Daytona State and North Texas would finish the day with team scores of 288, tying each for the daily squad low round but maintaining the Mean Green’s lead.
“The team was disappointed by losing the tournament by 1 stroke, but they played well overall and I am proud of them. They shot even par as a team on Tuesday and gave themselves a chance to win and that is all I could ask for”, commented Brown.
The Falcons will return to action on November 8-9, when they participate in the Stetson University Invitational at the Victoria Hills Golf Club in DeLand, Florida.