ORLANDO, FL (February 7, 2017) -- On Tuesday it was a program first for Clemson. The Tigers had never won a team title in the programs four year history but when Alice Hewson birdied her final hole that all changed. The birdie pushed Clemson into a tie for first with Miami and it helped the Tigers earn a share of the UCF Women's Challenge title.
“This was a big win for the program, the first victory in our history,” said head coach Kelley Hester. “I am so proud of this team and the way they have worked. We putted the ball well all week, especially today and we stayed patient. We had a couple of holes with big scores, but everyone held their composure.”
Clemson was led throughout the week by Hewson, the 2016 ACC Freshmen of the Year, who fired rounds of 68-73-68 to post 7 under. On Tuesday at Eagle Creek Golf Club Hewson birdied five times and bogeyed once but she saved most of her best work for late in the round. After starting on the third hole, Hewson was 1 under through 13 holes before stepping on the throttle down the stretch with three birdies in the last five holes.
Miami was propelled by a pair of players finishing inside the top 10, freshmen Renate Grimstad and Filippa Moork. Grimstad ended up in a share of third at 7 under while Moork was 6 under and tied for seventh.
In the medalist race the crown went to first time collegiate winner Jessica Peng. The Mississippi State senior closed with a 2 over 74 but her 11 under 54-hole tally proved to be just enough to lift her by a stroke over Daytona State College's Jiwon Jeon.
For a stretch it looked as if Peng would not be able to hold onto her overnight lead as she faltered during the middle portion of her round playing holes 8-13 in 4 over. The struggles dropped Peng all the way back to 10 under and into a share of the lead. However, the first time winner had some late heroics in the form of an 18th hole birdie tucked in her back pocket.
The top 5 of the individual standings is rounded out by Kentucky's Isabelle Johansson and Grimstad in a tie for third at 8 under while Hewson and Chayanit Wangmahaporn of Iowa State shared fifth at 7 under.
Finishing behind Clemson and Miami in the team standings were a group of teams at 10 under and in third place. The group includes Texas, UCF and Mississippi State.
-Clemson Athletics contributed to this story