SUFFOLK, Va. (September 26, 2017) – The North Carolina A&T women’s golf team ended their inaugural season in 2016-17 with plenty of promise after finishing fourth at the PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championships and second at the MEAC Golf Championships. With those factors in place, N.C. A&T head coach Richard Watkins used the words “extremely high” when describing his expectations for his women’s golfers.
Before the start of the season, Watkins said: “There is no doubt in my mind, we are going to win an event this year, maybe two.”
He also said he is looking forward to a top-3 finish at the minority championships, and he is looking to bridge the gap between the Aggies and the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats, last year’s winner of the MEAC championships.
N.C. A&T seems poised to meet those expectations. The Aggies women’s golf team won the Hampton University Golf Invitational on Tuesday by finishing the tournament with three golfers in the top-5 at the par-72 Sleepy Hole Golf Course. It is the program’s first-ever tournament victory. Senior Sofia Alvarez will now hold the distinction of being the first women’s golfer in school history to win a tournament after shooting 8-over par including a 1-over par 72 on Tuesday.
Newcomer and junior college transfer Bo Young Park finished second at 9-over and sophomore Erica Jackson showed off the vast improvement in her game by finishing fourth at 19-over. In the first round, Jackson tied a career low by shooting a 79.
“Erica Jackson has been separating herself from the others in qualifying lately,” said Watkins. “She has responded well to having to compete for a travel spot. She took a hold of that fifth spot and wouldn’t let it go. I’m looking forward to her getting better.”
Freshman Madison Harriman debuted with a 26-over par showing to finish seventh. Senior Jill Harvison shot an uncharacteristic 91 in the first round, but recovered to shoot 83 in the second.
“We brought in some very good golfers in Bo Young and Madison,” said Watkins. “We expect to get better with every tournament. I think we’re going to be really good toward the end of the season.”
The Aggies finished ahead of Delaware State and host Hampton. N.C. A&T is going to get a big test next week when they compete in the UNCG Starmount Invitational in Greensboro, Oct. 2-3. N.C. A&T finished 11th last season.