MIAMI, FLA. (FIUSports.com) – The FIU women’s golf team held off Toledo and Washington in the final round of the 2nd Annual Rainbow Wahine Invitational to win the team title at 31-over (895). The team trophy is the third of the fall season for the Panthers, who are ranked as high as No. 50 by GOLFSTAT.
Along with the team title, junior Shelby Coyle (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) won individual medal honors, defeating Eastern Michigan’s Sarah Johnson in a playoff.
Coyle and Johnson had both started the last 18 holes tied for second and each shot one-over (73) in the final round to tie for first at two-over (218) for the tournament. Both golfers entered into a playoff round to determine the individual champion, where Coyle ended the match on the first hole by sinking a 15-foot putt for birdie.
The Rainbow Wahine Invitational, hosted by the University of Hawai’I, was held at the par-72, 6,228-yard Leilehua Golf Course on the Schofield Barracks in O’ahu, Hawai’i.
The Panthers, who led the field wire-to-wire, shot a 12-over (300) in the final round to finish the 54 holes at 31-over. Toledo, who began the day tied in first with FIU, hit a 14-over (302) on the last day to slip into second place with a three-round total of 897 (+33). Washington State remained in third-place at +34 (898).
Coyle, a 2012 All-Sun Belt Conference selection, used season-low scores of 72-73-73 (218) to earn the third individual title for FIU this fall, in addition to the three team trophies.
FIU began the fall season winning the University of Michigan’s Wolverine Invitational with freshman Meghan MacLaren (Cambridge, U.K.) winning that event in her collegiate debut. After finishing in fourth at the University of Missouri’s Johnie Imes Invitational, the Panthers would successfully defend their team and individual title at its own FIU Pat Bradley Invitational, with MacLaren winning her second tournament of the fall.
Pacing right behind Coyle in the standings was senior Tania Tare (Auckland, New Zealand), who finished in a tie for sixth at six-over (222). Tare, who opened with an even-par 72 in the first round, found herself in seventh after 36 holes following a four-over (76) in the second round. She would move up a spot concluding the event with a two-over (74) over the last 18 holes.
Freshman Jasmine Wade (Oldsmar, Fla.), competing as individual outside the team scoring, was impressive scoring a seven-over (223) for the event to finish in ninth place. The Rainbow Wahine was just the second event Wade competed in her first fall season. She began the final round tied for 12th and proceeded to score amongst the top golfers in the standings with a one-over (73) to surge into her first top 10 finish.
FIU’s other three freshmen at the tournament, MacLaren, Carla Jane (Santiago, Chile) and Sophie Godley (Nottinghamshire, U.K.), followed in the standings. MacLaren finished at 12-over (228) to tie for 21st. Jane, also competing as an individual, tied for 26th at 13-over (229). Godley was in 28th at 14-over (230). Senior Yolecci Jimenez (Caracas, Venezula) completed FIU scoring in 38th at 17-over (233).
In addition to host-school Hawai’i and FIU, the 12-team field for the Rainbow Wahine Invitational also featured Boise State, BYU, Eastern Michigan, Memphis, New Mexico State, North Dakota State, Sacramento State, Toledo, UC-Irvine and Washington State.
Along with FIU (No. 50 in the GOLFSTAT Rankings), the tournament field features two other notable team rankings: Washington State (No. 34 GOLFSTAT) and U.C.-Irvine (No. 53 GolfWeek). FIU’s MacLaren is the highest-ranked player, tied for 57th nationally through GOLFSTAT. North Dakota State’s Amy Anderson (T-67) and Sacramento State’s Lisa Persson (T79) also received Top 100 rankings.