Maria Fassi during the final round of the ANWA (ANWA image)
Maria Fassi made an impression in the final round of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur. Two weeks removed from the back-nine run that ultimately left her in the runner-up position at Augusta National, Fassi is now the SEC individual champion. The Arkansas senior finished four shots ahead of a trio of chasers to earn the honor.
Fassi, of Mexico, logged rounds of 71-68-71 at the par-72 Greystone Golf and Country Club in Birmingham, Ala. It ties the second-best Arkansas score at the SEC tournament and is one shot behind her 209 total from last season, which put her in a tie for the lead and forced a playoff. Fassi lost in extra holes to South Carolina’s Ainhoa Olarra.
On Friday, Fassi was tied for the lead late in the final round but birdied Nos. 9 and 11 and parred the last four holes for the four-shot win over three players, including Arkansas teammate Kaylee Benton, Ole Miss' Julia Johnson and Florida’s Marta Perez SanMartin.
“We are one of the toughest conferences and being able to win and to do it in tough conditions like it was today is just amazing,” Fassi said. “I enjoy playing in the rain. It kinda brings out the best in me. It keeps me focused on things I need to focus on.”
After 54 holes of stroke play, the conference championship resets to an eight-team match-play bracket. By finishing at the top of the leaderboard, Florida will take the No. 1 seed into the weekend. The Gators built a two-shot advantage on South Carolina, a team that could be tough head-to-head. The Gamecocks won the Liz Murphey Collegiate, another match-play event, last week.
Arkansas, the defending SEC champions, also advanced to match play in the third-place position, followed by Vanderbilt, Georgia, Auburn, Mississippi and Ole Miss.
The quarterfinal and semifinal matches take play on Saturday, followed by the championship match on Saturday.
Information from Arkansas Athletics used in this report
ABOUT THE SEC Women's Championship
54-hole stroke play tournament crowns an individual
champion, then four teams advance to match play
determine the SEC team champion.
View Complete Tournament Information