Houston, Texas – The Transylvania women's golf team cemented one of the best recent two-year runs by any Division III women's golf program by clearing the cutline in the third round of the NCAA Division III Women's Golf National Championships on Thursday afternoon at Bay Oaks Country Club.
Aiming to stay above the 54-hole cutline as they entered Wednesday's third round of the four-round tournament, the Pioneers shot their best round of the three thus far, scoring a 33-over-par 321 for a three-round score of 978.
The Pioneers finished the day in 15th place, edging out Illinois Wesleyan by two strokes to keep their tournament drive alive and advance into the fourth round of the NCAA Tournament.
Transylvania made the cut for the second consecutive year, marking the first time in the history of the program that the Pioneers have accomplished the feat in back-to-back seasons. The Pioneers also made the cut in their program's second ever national-championship appearance last season at the Mission Inn Resort in Florida on the way to finishing in 15th place.
The Pioneers are one of 10 teams in the nation to make the cut and finish in the top 15 at the National Championships in the past two seasons.
Junior Rachel Fine guided the Pioneers in the third round on Thursday with a six-over-par 78 to turn in her best round of the tournament. Fine improved upon her round-two score by two strokes and the opening round by five strokes as she continued a steady rise this week. Fine now leads the Pioneers atop the player leaderboard with a share of 52nd place after turning in a 54-hole score of 241.
Senior Jenna Soderling had another solid round for the Pioneers on Thursday, matching Fine's 78. Soderling finished her round with six pars in her final nine holes. Soderling improved upon her first-round score by 13 strokes and her second-round score by three strokes. Soderling is now in 75th place upon the player leaderboard.
Senior Meredith Moir shot an 83 on Thursday to reach a three-day score of 242, one stroke behind Fine for second among the Pioneers and a tie for 55th on the player leaderboard. Moir had two of Transylvania's three birdies on the day to boost the Pioneers into the fourth round.
Junior Lexie Lamar matched Moir's 83 in the third round and now holds a share of 79th place on the player leaderboard entering Friday. Junior Rebecca Fine turned in her best round of the three contested thus far with a 10-over-par 82, highlighted by a birdie on the seventh hole.
The Pioneers sit five strokes back of Wisconsin-Whitewater and St. Mary's College (Ind.) after three rounds of play.
Williams College leads the team leaderboard with a 12-over-par 915 after three rounds. The tournament's individual leader is Emily Salamy of Rhodes College with a seven-over-par 223 going into Friday's final round.
The Pioneers are scheduled to tee off at 8:30 a.m. local time and 9:30 a.m. Lexington time from Bay Oaks Country Club. Transylvania will look to exceed last year's 15th-place finish which stands as its best finish ever at the National Championships.
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