PINEHURST, N.C. – Charleston Southern senior Shelby Thompson fired the best round in program history – a six-under par 66 – to propel the Bucs into a tie for sixth place on the final day of the Pinehurst Challenge Invitational. Thompson passed 52 players on the leaderboard over the final 18 holes to finish alone in ninth place at three-over par 219.
Thompson racked up eight birdies at Pinehurst No. 1 en route to her second sub-70 round and third top-ten effort in four events. She had matched the program record of 68, held by Olivia Jordan-Higgins and Patricia Martinson, just two weeks ago at the Lady Pirate Intercollegiate. Thompson recorded four birdies on each side to get to three-under on both nines.
"I felt like how I played today was very similar to when I shot 68 at ECU," Thompson said. "I tried to keep it simple today and just went back to the basics of fairways and greens. My putter was working, which was great, and I even chipped in which was an unexpected bonus. It was a good finish for us as a team and we're looking forward to the next event at Kiawah."
East Carolina won the event with a three-under total of 861. Auburn finished seven strokes behind and Maryland place third. ECU's Lisa Pettersson won the individual title with a score of eight-under par. CSU bested the likes of Kennesaw State, North Florida, James Madison and Stetson in continuing an excellent fall campaign. The Bucs played the final 36 holes at ten-over par on a difficult course made harder by wind and damp fairways and greens.
"I was really happy we moved up the leaderboard again today," CSU head coach Matt Cram-Smith said. "Shelby had a fantastic day and set a new school record so can't ask for much more there. It wasn't easy with the wind changing directions all day long. It was good to get a win against some quality programs as well so I was very pleased with our performance."
CSU juniors Emelie Flink (+3) and Hayley McNeill (+4) delivered the Bucs' other top rounds. Flink finished at even-par 35 on the front nine while McNeill had her lone birdie of the day at the par-four second to bounce back from three bogeys on the back side. McNeill edged her way inside the top-20, placing in a tie for 19th. Flink was one of a group in a tie for 31st.
CSU will wrap up its fall slate Oct. 23-26 at the Palmetto Intercollegiate at Turtle Point Golf Club on Kiawah Island.