SAVANNAH, Ga. (October 31, 2017) – In a short time, the North Carolina A&T women’s golf team has prospered beyond expectations. In just its second year of existence, the Aggies have their second tournament win after claiming the 2017 SSU Tiger Fall Invitational at the par 72, 5,484-yard golf course at Crosswinds Golf Club. The Aggies won the Hampton University Golf Invitational earlier this season.
The Aggies shot their lowest round of the young program’s existence when they shot a 307 on Monday to the take the lead into the clubhouse after the first day of the invitational. The Aggies came back on Tuesday and went five strokes lower to shoot a 302 to win the tournament by 38 strokes over Savannah State was 71-over for the tournament. The Tigers were followed by Hampton (108) and Maryland Eastern Shore (197).
“Every day, every tournament, every competition we’re getting better,” said N.C. A&T coach Richard Watkins. “We are getting close to where we really need to be to compete like this in all of our tournaments. I like where we are going.”
Bo Young Park was trying to follow in the footsteps of teammate Sofia Alvarez, who in September won the individual title at the Hampton event, by winning the SSU event on Tuesday. Park led the tournament after Day 1, but followed her 1-over 73 on Monday with a 2-over performance on Day 2 to slip into third place by shooting plus-3 for the week. Bethune-Cookman’s Mackenzie Butzer shot 1-under on Tuesday to finish first at 1-over. Despite falling two strokes short of winning the tournament, Park was superb over the 36-hole event. She holed four birdies for the tournament and was second to freshman teammate Madison Harriman in pars for the tournament with 26. Park took advantage of the par 5’s by shooting 2-under on those holes.
Harriman’s play was encouraging because she still has more than three years of tournaments to play as an Aggie. Harriman collected 27 pars for the tournament, and she birdied two holes. After shooting 4-over on the first day, Harriman went even lower on Tuesday with a 1-over 73 to finish the tournament in fourth place at 5-over. Harriman put on those impressive numbers despite being plus-4 on par 3’s. Park and Harriman were named to the all-tournament team.
“We had really good performances from the entire team,” said Watkins. “Bo Young Park was very stellar in your performance and Madison Harriman had the best performance of her young freshman career. We are anticipating more performances like that from her. But I just thought it was a great team performance.”
What also bodes well for the Aggies going into the second semester of the season is Sofia Alvarez’s return to the 70’s. Before shooting 80 on Monday, five of Alvarez’s seven rounds were shot in the 70’s during the 2017-18 season. Alvarez shot a 3-over 75 on the day and 11-over for the tournament to finish sixth. Fellow senior Jill Harvison also finished in the top-10 by placing seventh at 14-over.
Another positive development for the Aggies was the play of sophomore Jocelyn Andrews. Andrews had the highest score of the group, so the Aggies did not have to count her score. But it was a score good enough for 10th place with an 82 on Monday and an 84 on Tuesday.
“Last year we would have loved to have counted an 82,” said Watkins. “That just shows how much this program is moving forward.”