GERMANTOWN, Tenn. --
The Samford University women's golf team successfully defended its championship crown at the FedEx Memphis Intercollegiate on Tuesday as the Bulldogs cruised to a 14-stroke victory over second-place Xavier and a 19-stroke advantage over hometown favorite Memphis at the Ridgeway Country Club.
"I couldn't be more proud of the heart and effort of these ladies," said Samford head coach Brooke Valente
. "In front of family and friends, we were able to bring home our first win this season. They battled through high winds and very fast green conditions. All of our preparation this semester has been focused towards excellence. This win reinforces their confidence in the work that they are doing daily.
Samford carded a third-round score of 307 on Tuesday and finished the two-day, 54-hole competition with a total team mark of 913 (304-302-307). Xavier posted a three-round score of 927 (306-316-305), while Memphis (316-311-305=932), Louisiana-Monroe (314-310-309=933) and Central Arkansas (314-309-315=938) rounded out the top five.
The Bulldogs' Natalie Mitchell
made it a clean sweep for Samford on Tuesday as she earned Individual Medalist honors. Mitchell, a native of Germantown, tallied a tournament-best score of 220 (71-74-75) and rolled to a two-stroke victory over Central Arkansas' Julia Roth and Sarah Schober of Redlands Community College.
"Some may say that playing your home course puts you at an advantage," Valente said. "In some ways that is true, but it also raises your expectations for yourself. This was true for Natalie, but she handled the course and her nerves with grace. We are all very proud to be a part of her first collegiate medalist honor."
Samford finished with three players ranked in the top eight in Tuesday's final individual standings. The Bulldogs' Mitchell paced the field with a 54-hole score of 220, while senior Anna Heim
placed fifth in the tournament with a three-round tally of 225 (76-75-74). Emily Stallings
, Samford's rising sophomore from Fayetteville, Ga., finished tied for eighth place in the individual standings with a 230 (79-74-77).
"Anna and Emily fought hard and earned their respective fifth- and eighth-place finishes," said Valente. "They truly helped anchor this win with their consistency."
Rounding out the Bulldogs' scoring on Tuesday were junior Alex Jasper
(79-79-81=239) and sophomore Bailey Gray
(79-80-83=241). Jasper finished tied for 27th
place in the individual standings, while Gray placed 34th
In a similarly dominant performance last season, Samford won the 2011 FedEx Memphis Intercollegiate with an identical team score of 913. The Bulldogs were also paced by Mitchell who finished tied for third place in the tournament with a three-day total of 224 (78-70-76).