Virginia tops home team to win Mary Fossum title
Virginia's Mary Fossum-winning squad (UVA Athletics photo)
EAST LANSING, Mich. (Sept. 16, 2018) – Virginia topped the home team Sunday in the Mary Fossum Invitational. The season-opening victory also marks Virginia’s first title under new head coach Ria Scott.
The Cavaliers entered the final round at Forest Akers West Golf Course with a three-shot lead on Georgia and Florida. Those teams couldn’t keep pace in the final round, but host Michigan State could. The Spartans made a run at the title with a 4-under 284 on Sunday, but Virginia out-dueled them. During the final round, Virginia's four counting players combined to play the last six holes in 10-under par. Michigan State's four counting players played that same stretch of holes in 5-under par.
Virginia senior Anna Redding tied for first place with Michigan State junior Allyson Geer-Park at 9-under 207. It’s Redding’s first individual title, and her best score as a Cavalier. As for Geer-Park, who won the Michigan Women’s Amateur last month, it’s also a first career victory. She has three runner-ups last year.
"It feels great," Geer-Park said. "It was definitely on my mind all summer. I played well in the final rounds of some tournaments in the past, but some players just had better rounds than me."
In addition to Redding, Virginia players Katharine Park (T-6), Beth Lillie (T-14) and Julia Ford (T-17) all landed inside the top 20.
"The team fought until the very last putt dropped today," said Scott, who arrived at Virginia this fall after nine years as the head coach at Oregon. "I loved the fact that all five players made contributions this weekend and played a part in the victory. It was a total team effort. Seeing Julia Ford’s (5-under) 31 on her final nine holes was both phenomenal and essential. This tournament was a great reminder to our team of the value of every single shot."
The Mary Fossum field included seven teams from last year’s NCAA Women’s Championship. Florida, winner of last week’s hurricane-shortened Cougar Classic, was third while Georgia was fourth.
Quotes from Virginia, Michigan State Athletics