After losing four players, including a pair of All-Americans, from a lineup that won four team titles and spent most of last spring ranked No. 1 in the nation, the new look South Carolina Gamecocks have gelled quite nicely this fall.
In fact, they have not skipped a beat, as the Gamecocks rolled to their second team title this fall with a 12-stroke victory at the Landfall Tradition in Wilmington, NC on Sunday.
Behind medalist Justine Fournand
, the Gamecocks posted a 15-under score of 849 on rounds of 291-278-280 to finish well ahead of second-place Michigan, which posted a 3-under 861 (289-279-293) on the Dye Course at the Country Club of Landfall. Michigan State (865), No. 9 Wake Forest (871) and No. 8 Virginia (872) rounded out the top five.
It's the second title of the fall for the fifth-ranked Gamecocks following their season-opening win at the ANNIKA Intercollegiate in September. South Carolina also reached the championship match of the Stephens Cup where it lost to LSU.
Fournand, who played her first two seasons at Florida Atlantic, turned in rounds of 67-73-68 to win the individual title at 8-under 208, three strokes clear of runner-up Emily Mahar
of Virginia Tech, who reached the quarterfinals in this year's U.S. Women's Amateur Championship at Westchester Country Club. Crystal Wang
of Illinois was four back at 4-under 212 while six were tied at 3-under 213, including Gamecocks Hannah Darling
and Louise Rydqvist
Fournand, who is one of four new faces in Kalen Anderson's lineup, began the day in second place at 4-under par, three shots behind 36-hole leader Mikaela Schulz
of Michigan. With Schulz carding a final round 77, the door was left open for a pack of eager pursuers and it was Fournand who made the most of the opportunity.
After playing her outward nine in even par, the junior from Erstein, France made four birdies and an eagle on the par-5 finishing hole to come home in 32 for a final round 68 and held off a hard-charging Mahar, who opened her final round with six birdies on the first 10 holes, but was ultimately doomed by a bogey-bogey finish.
For Fournand, it was the fifth win of her collegiate career following victories at the Low Country Intercollegiate, Brickyard Collegiate and a dual match with Ohio State last spring along with the Pat Bradley Invitational in the fall of 2019 while she was at Florida Atlantic.
Gamecock freshmen Darling, the reigning R&A Women's Amateur champion, and Rydqvist both earned top-10 finishes, tying for sixth, while Tai Anudit, who played two seasons at Kennesaw State before transferring to Columbia, tied for 19th.
ABOUT THE The Landfall Tradition
54-hole women's college event hosted by
UNC Wilmington. Team (best four scores out of five
players each round) and individual competitions.
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