Women's golf finishes second at AAC championship

Dave Ongie • Updated Apr 5, 2017 at 7:18 PM

The Milligan women’s golf team weathered the storm at the Appalachian Athletic Conference Spring Championship and came away with a runner-up finish.

The Buffs wrapped up the 36-hole event on Tuesday with a team score of 641, which was good enough for a second-place finish behind conference champ SCAD Atlanta. Cassidy Gibson, Megan Gaylor and Michaela Matheson all scored top-five finishes in the individual competition to earn all-conference honors.

Milligan coach Tony Wallingford said he was proud of the way his team responded under tough conditions, but in the end, he said the short game was where the tournament was ultimately lost.

“After a six-hour storm delay on Monday, we returned to the course and played until dark,” he said. “That left us with up to 25 holes to complete on Tuesday walking a challenging mountain course. The bottom line for us was that we simply were not able to get it done with our wedges and putters and let it slip away.”

Moving forward, the Buffs will have a chance to qualify for the NAIA Women’s Golf National Championship, which will be played in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, starting on May 23. The Buffs will have to punch their tickets to the national tournament on April 17 and 18 at the NAIA Direct Qualifier in Pine Mountain, Georgia.

One factor working in Milligan’s favor is the venue for the qualifier. Wallingford said his team has a history of playing some good golf at Callaway Gardens.

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The men’s golf team is gearing up for next week’s AAC Spring Championship, and the Buffs will have the benefit of playing the event in their own backyard.

The tournament will be held at Elizabethton Golf Club next Monday and Tuesday, and Wallingford said all the rounds his players have logged on the course should be a huge advantage.

“Certainly in golf there is a greater home course advantage than in other sports,” Wallingford said. “Having said that, I am hopeful our guys will not put undue pressure on themselves to be perfect simply because they are playing their home course.”

The AAC champion is determined by combining the results of the Spring and Fall championships. After a solid showing in the fall, Milligan’s men will enter next week’s event just two shots off of the lead and in excellent position to win the title.

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Milligan’s women were well represented when the AAC weekly awards were handed out earlier this week.

Hannah Segrave was named the league’s track athlete of the week, Liz Maller was named the field athlete of the week and Kimberly Robinson took home softball player of the week honors.

Segrave ran the 800 in 2:04.49, which is the fastest time posted in the NAIA this spring by over seven seconds. The mark is also the second fastest among all collegiate women and the third fastest 800 time in Segrave’s career at Milligan.

Meanwhile, Maller won the shot put, hammer throw and discus at the Montreat Invitational while Robinson was strong both inside the circle and at the plate as the Buffs swept a doubleheader against Truett-McConnell last weekend.

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