Site: Greenville, N.C.
Course: Ironwood Country Club (Par 72, 6,188 yards)
Tournament: ECU Easter Invitational
HPU Team Standing: 7th of 9 teams (308-306-297-911, +47)
Top HPU Individual: Samantha Vodry, 1st (68-73-71-212, -4)
Next HPU Round: Wednesday, April 14 — at Big South Championship (Ninety Six, S.C.)
GREENVILLE, N.C. – For the second time in five days, High Point University women’s golfer Samantha Vodry took home medalist honors with her win in the ECU Easter Invitational on Easter Sunday (April 4).
The graduate student led after all three rounds on the way to her second victory in a row and fourth in her career, breaking her tie with Sarah Bae and Kate O’Sullivan to set a new program record. She fired a 71 in the final round on Sunday to finish at four-under to be one of just two players under-par in the event and the only golfer multiple strokes under-par.
Her win wasn’t the only milestone she set in the tournament as yesterday she became the first golfer in program history to reach the 300-birdie mark in her career and is just the second golfer on either the men’s or women’s side in the 300-birdie club at High Point. She finished with a total of 10 birdies in the event for the fourth-most in the field and now has 308 in her career.
“I’m not at all surprised to see Sam start to get the results she’s worked so hard for,” head coach Alexis Bennett said after Vodry’s second win. “Her tenacity, dedication, and discipline have not so much as wavered in five years. She’s been as steady as they come over the course of a career but it can’t be understated how well she’s been playing right now. To have only been beaten by 17 of the 343 competitors she’s faced is more than impressive. I can’t wait to see her carry this momentum into The Patriot – a place she loves!”
Vodry is just the second golfer in program history to earn multiple wins in the same season and has done it in just five events. She’s now tied for the second-most in a single season with Bae, who won two events in the 2003-04 season out of 12 tournaments, and one behind the program leader O’Sullivan, who took home medalist honors in three of her 10 events played during the 2004-05 season.
The Panthers maintained their position in seventh place in the team standings on Sunday with a 297 for their best round of the tournament and fourth-best round of the day among the field. Sarah Kahn shot even for the second round in a row to claw her way into the top-25 in a tie for 24th place at 10-over. Freshmen Danielle Suh and Vynie Chen each carded 77s in the final round to finish in 35th and 48th place, respectively, while Olivia John was nine-over in the final round to finish one spot behind Chen in a tie for 49th.
“As a team, we’ve had so much fun being back in-season and have been extremely fortunate to stay healthy, let alone send a competitive lineup out each week,” Bennett said of the team’s season so far. “There have certainly been growing pains along the way, but our younger players have grown and our upperclassmen have stepped up in seemingly every way. While it’s certainly frustrating these past few events to always have two players average around par or better yet still shoot some of the numbers we have, we’ve also collected some really useful tools and experiences we’ll be able to draw on as we look ahead to the postseason.”
Vodry was consistent throughout the entire round, putting 15 pars on her card. Her first foray into red numbers came on the ninth hole as she birdied the 387-yard par-4 for her first of two birdies on the day. Her initial stay in the red didn’t last long as she bogeyed but she recovered three holes later with a birdie on the par-5 13th and parred out to finish with the 71.
Kahn had two of her three birdies on the day in the front, but had those negated by a bogey and a double to make the turn one-over. She got back to even with a bird on the 12th and rode out a string of six pars for her 72. Suh and Chen combined for three birdies on the day, all of which came on the back.
Both of them were four-over with two bogeys and a double on the front before going one-over on the back. Suh had five pars in a row to start the back before going bogey-birdie-bogey. Chen had a bogey-birdie-bogey streak to start her final nine and picked up one more bogey and birdie before the round was done. John tied for the team lead in birdies with three on the day but had a rough front marred by four bogeys and a pair of doubles, along with one more double on the back.
The ECU Easter Invitational was the last event on the calendar before the Big South Championship for High Point, which will take place at The Patriot Golf Course at Grand Harbor in Ninety Six, S.C. next week. The Championship begins with three days of stroke play from April 14-16 before the top four teams advance to the match-play semifinals and championship on April 17.