PISCATAWAY, N.J. - For the second time in Seton Hall women's golf history, the Pirates can call themselves tournament champions. Seton Hall followed its record first round 299 with a 16-over-par, 304, in Saturday's final round to win the 2012 Rutgers Women's Invitational by seven strokes.
Seton Hall finished the 36-hole event with a 27-over-par, 299-304-603, to finish seven strokes in front of second place Rutgers. The Pirates only other BIG EAST competition, St. John's, finished third, 17 strokes behind.
The Pirates' 11-over-par, 299, in round one set the program record for a par-72 course.
Their 304 on Saturday, although five strokes worse than round one, was the best second round score amongst the 21-team field.
The victory is the second in the history of the women's golf program, which is only 23 tournaments old. Seton Hall's first team victory came at the Homewood Suites Siena Invitational on March 17, 2012.
"With our outstanding play all fall long, we knew this was coming," said Head Coach Sara Doell. "Each one of our top-four has had a marquee moment already this season. They know what they're capable of. They just needed to put it all together during the same tournament. It seems every event, we continue to set the bar higher. I couldn't be more proud."
Not to be lost in the Pirates' team victory is the tremendous two-day performance of a trio of Seton Hall golfers. Christina Cantú (Houston, Texas), Ali Kruse (Overland Park, Kan.) and Megan Tenhundfeld(Loveland, Ohio) all tied for second place among 118 golfers at 6-over-par. St. John's Harin Lee won the individual title, four strokes ahead of the second place trio.
Cantú led the individual field by a stroke after her even-par, 72, in round one. The junior finished the event with a 72-78-150. Kruse had the Pirates' best second round score, a 2-over-par, 74, and finished with a 76-74-150. Tenhundfeld tallied her third top-10 finish in four tournaments to begin her collegiate career with a 74-76-150.
Hannah Basalone (Brea, Calif.), who has been battling flu-like symptoms all tournament, fired an impressive 4-over-par, 76, in Saturday's second round. The junior finished just outside the top-10, tied for 11th, with a 9-over-par, 77-76-153.
Freshman Karlie Zabrosky (Erie, Pa.) was consistent throughout and finished tied for 34th overall with a very respectable 16-over-par, 80-80-160.
For the Pirates, it's their fourth straight top-5 finish this fall, and now they can add a victory to two second place finishes and one fourth place tie. Both of Seton Hall's second place finishes were by just one stroke. The Pirates can now expect their program-best 114 golfstat ranking to only increase following this weekend's victory.
Due to the close proximity of the tournament, the Pirates were able to bring two individuals as well. SophomoreErin McClure (Tucson, Ariz.) fired the second-best score on the team on Saturday with a 3-over-par, 75. For the two-day event, she tied for 11th with teammate Hannah Basalone, following her 9-over-par, 78-75-153.
McKenzie Cutter (Waldorf, Md.) tied teammate Karlie Zabrosky for 34th place overall following her 16-over-par, 77-83-160.