Dallas Baptist, Lynn's Helen Kreuzer win NCAA Division II titles
15 May 2021
by Jordan Perez of AmateurGolf.com
see also: Helen Kreuzer Rankings
- Dallas Baptist University photo
Top-ranked Dallas Baptist and Lynn University senior Helen Kreuzer withstood a two-hour frost delay Saturday morning and their patience paid off, as the Fighting Knights and the senior from Bensheim, Germany were crowned NCAA Division II Women’s Golf champions at TPC Michigan Dearborn.
Dallas Baptist claimed their first-ever NCAA Division II team title by a single stroke over Lynn University while Kreuzer won the individual title with a 54-hole total of 210, good for a two-shot victory over University of Indianapolis’ Pilar Echeverria. A trio of golfers were a distant third at 3-over 219.
Dallas Baptist disposed of Indianapolis and Grand Valley State to earn a spot in the championship match against Lynn, who prevailed over Arkansas State and St. Mary’s to advance to the finals.
Wins by Adriana Iribarren and Alice Gatti gave Lynn a 2-0 lead in the match, however, sophomore DBU’s Faith DeLaGarza cut the lead to 2-1 when she defeated Honor Keilty, 7 and 6. Playing in her final round as a collegian, senior Hanna Harrision made a clutch up and down for par on the 18th hole to win her match against Camilia Madariaga, 1 up.
With the national championship hanging in the balance, all eyes turned to the match between Dallas Baptist freshman Olivia Mitchell and newly crowned NCAA Division II individual champion Kreuzer. Mitchell pulled to within one with a birdie on the 17th hole and stuffed her approach shot from 140 yards on the final hole to within three feet. After Kreuzer missed her 20-foot birdie attempt, Mitchell calmly sank the three-footer for a birdie to halve the match, leaving the teams tied at 2-2-1. However, Dallas Baptist was awarded the national championship thanks to the team stroke tiebreaker rule.
DBU’s coveted win became their first national championship in program history, a long-awaited title in head coach Kenny Trapp’s 16 years with the program and capped off a sensational year for the Patriots, who won six out of seven regular season events along with the Lone Star Conference title.
Photo credit: Liz Wacienga, UIndy
The individual championship came down to a two-player race between Kreuzer and two-time NCAA Division II Player of the Year Echeverria, who began the final round tied for the lead after both golfers shot matching 71s in each of the first two rounds.
The two players were still deadlocked at the turn after carding 2-under 34s over the first nine holes. Kreuzer’s birdies on holes 11, 13 and 18 led to a back nine 34 and a round 68 for the national championship, while Echeverria played her last nine holes at even par to finish runner up.
“My putting really helped me today,” Kreuzer said. “I made some important putts and it really helped me to make birdies out there.”