UNCP’s Moore Finishes Second; Armstrong’s Birch 21st at NCAA Championships
LOUISVILLE, KY – UNC Pembroke’s Meghan Moore fired an even-par 72 in the final round of the NCAA women’s golf National Championships on Saturday to finish second overall in the 69-player field. Armstrong’s Jenna Birch also had a strong showing, finishing 21st overall as both played the tournament as individuals.
Moore (+12) finished two strokes off the pace of national champion Abbey Gittings (+10) of Nova Southeastern who led the Sharks to their fourth-straight team national championship in the process. Gittings turned in a double bogey on the par-4 13th hole to fall into a first place tie with Moore, but the NSU junior birdied both the 15th and 16th holes, and then posted pars on the final two greens, to come away with individual medalist honors.
Moore's finish is the best individual national finish by a Peach Belt Conference women's golfer in league annals and the best finish for a PBC golfer, male or female, since USC Aiken's Jeff Goff captured the individual national championship in 2008. Moore also concluded her junior campaign with a PBC-best and school record 76.03 stroke average – the second-lowest total in league history.
The Durham native negated a bogey on the par-4 second hole with birdies on the fourth, fifth and ninth holes. She bogeyed the par-3 12th hole and carded a double bogey on the par-4 17th hole, but capped her tournament by booking a birdie on the par-5 18th hole. It was the first time over the course of the 4-round tournament that she had registered par or better on the Persimmon Ridge Golf Course's final hole.
Birch fired a second consecutive 79 on Saturday to finish in 21st place. Birch ended her tournament with a four-day 319 total and a +31 score. She carded rounds of 81-80-79-79 for her 21st place finish in the 90-player field over the par-72, 6,283-yard course.