ATHENS, GA.- The North Carolina women's golf team captured its first win of the year at the Liz Murphey Fall Preview. The Tar Heels fired a 2-over-par 290 Sunday, the low round of the day, at the University of Georgia Golf Course. Junior Casey Grice led the Tar Heels and placed second in the individual race after her 1-under 71 performance. North Carolina head coach Jan Mann noted that this victory was a confidence boost for the team as the University of Georgia will be hosting the NCAA tournament in the spring.
"I'm extremely proud of our team and their performance over the last three days, particularly today," Coach Mann said. "It was very close down to the end. They continued to remain confident in themselves and played hard."
Grice, from College Station, Texas, was 2-over going into hole 12 when she birdied three of her final seven holes to end 1-under in the round. She snagged second place with a 2-under 214 total, just one stroke behind the winner. Elizabeth Mallett, a freshman from Sutton Coldfield, England, fired an even par 72 after carding three bogeys and three birdies, including one on her final hole. Mallett tied for 26th with a 6-over 222 final score. Junior Jackie Chang shot a 1-over 73 in the final round. The Paradise Valley, Ariz., native tied for 14th in the individual race with a 2-over 218 total. Katherine Perry, a junior from Cary, N.C., finished with a 2-over 74 after shooting 1-under on the back nine. Perry's 9-over 225 after three rounds moved her up to a tie in 38th place. Sophomore Maia Schechter, from Takoma Park, Md., scored a 3-over 75 with three birdies in the final round. Her final score of a 10-over 226 landed her in a tie in 40th place.
The Tar Heels finished with a 12-over 876 to claim the team title. Alabama placed second, four strokes behind North Carolina with a 16-over 880 after finishing the third round with a 7-over 295. Auburn, the leader from the first two rounds, fell to a third place tie with Southern California after a 15-over 303 in the final round, pushing them to a 19-over 883 total while the Trojans carded a 291 on Sunday. Georgia took the sole fifth spot with a 23-over 887. Oklahoma and Duke finished just one stroke back tied for sixth place with 888 totals while Texas A&M and UCLA tied for eighth at 893. Denver rounded out the top 10 finishing with a 31-over 895.
Mary Michael Maggio of Texas A&M fired a 5-under 67 in the final round to capture the individual championship. She ended with a 3-under 213 for the tournament. North Carolina's Casey Grice finished just one stroke behind Maggio grabbing runner-up honors with a three-day total of 214. Marta Sanz of Auburn and Brittany Altomare of Virginia tied for third place, each scoring 1-under 215 totals. Denver's Tonje Daffinrud, Duke's Lindy Duncan, LSU's Lindsay Gahm, Southern California's Sophia Popov, and Vanderbilt's Lauren Stratton all finished with par scores of 216 to tie in fifth place.
The 54-hole event was held at the University of Georgia Golf Course, which features a par 72, 6,335-yard layout and will be the site of the 2013 NCAA Championships. The Tar Heels return to Chapel Hill and plays host to the Ruth's Chris Tar Heel Invitational Oct. 12-14 at UNC Finley Golf Course.