CLAREMONT, Calif. - The No. 2 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's golf begins the four-day National Championships at the Mission Inn Resort at Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. on Tuesday. The Athenas will be one of 25 teams in action this week in Central Florida, in a field that includes the top 11 teams in the country and a total of 15 programs in the top-25.
The Athenas earned their way into the National Championship with a convincing victory in the SCIAC Championship race. Across seven rounds, CMS shot 2,128 and won by 95 strokes against second-place Pomona-Pitzer. The Athenas carded back-to-back rounds under 300 in the SCIAC Championship, marking their first two rounds under 300 in program history.
One of the biggest differences between SCIAC and NCAA Championship play is that the Athenas need to trim their starting line-up down from six players to five. At NCAA Championships each team can play five golfers for each round with the four lowest scores counting toward the team's score for the day. As a results the Athenas are brining, Margaret Loncki (CMC), Mira Yoo (CMC), Emma Kang (CMC), Kelly Ransom (CMC), and Emily Attiyeh (CMC) to Florida to compete for a National Championship. Loncki is coming off a SCIAC Championship where she finished the three-round Tournament at four-over, three strokes ahead of the second-place finisher.
Joining Loncki in the top-10 at the SCIAC Championship were the other four golfers competing this week. Mira Yoo finished the Tournament in third-place at 10-over, while Emma Kang ended in fifth-place at 14-over. Kelly Ransom and Emily Attiyeh tied for sixth-place, one shot behind Kang at 15-over for the Conference Championships.
The Athenas' first tee time on Tuesday morning belongs to Emily Attiyeh at 8:20 a.m. ET/5:20 a.m. PT. CMS will tee off every 10 minutes with Loncki last off the tee at 9:00 a.m. ET/6:00 a.m. PT for the Athenas. CMS starts Round One off on the 10th hole and will be playing alongside golfers from No. 4 Williams and No. 5 Whitman.
Twenty-five of the best Division III women's golf teams will descend on the Mission Inn Resort at Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. to compete in the 2018 National Championships. The Athenas earned one of 19 Automatic Qualifier into the tournament by way of winning the SCIAC Championship, with six other at-large selections handed out. There were also six individuals who earned invitations to the tournament. Caroline Ordian (Redlands) is the only familiar name on the list of individuals in the field, after her battles with Margaret Loncki in SCIAC play for the past four years.
While the Athenas are the only team from the SCIAC in this year's field, CMS will see some familiar faces. In the middle of March, CMS went to the Jekyll Island Invitational and won the prestigious tournament with a three-day total of 913 (+49), five shots clear of second-place New York University (918). In that Tournament, the Athenas faced 10 of the same teams in the field this week.
Below is a list of the teams in the field, sorted by their most recent Golfstat team ranking (* - indicates the teams CMS defeated at Jekyll Island):
George Fox University (1)
New York University (3)*
Williams College (4)
Whitman College (5)*
Methodist University (6)*
Washington University in St. Louis (7)*
Berry College (8)*
DePauw University (9)*
Carnegie Mellon University (10)*
Washington and Lee University (11)*
Carleton College (15)
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (16)
Amherst College (18)*
Illinois Wesleyan University (24)
Transylvania University (33)*
Saint Mary's College (Indiana) (39)
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (40)
Wartburg College (47)
University of Mount Union (69)
Alvernia University (103)
Gettysburg College (106)
The College of St. Scholastica (112)
Concordia University (Wisconsin) (119)
Saint Vincent College (120)
Mission Inn Resort houses two course, but El Campeón Golf Course will be home to the 2018 National Championships. Playing to a par 73 this week at 5,804 yards, El Campeón is surrounded by an abundance of natural Florida beauty. The El Campeón 18-hole championship course was designed by Chicago-based course architect, George O'Neil and built in 1917 – with further enhancements in 1926 by Charles E. Clarke of Troon, Scotland.
El Campeón is one of the South's oldest golf courses and blends unusual Central Florida elevation changes of more than 85 feet with features of traditional golf design, including spectacular rolling fairways, undulating greens and water on 13 of the 18 holes.
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