Site: Ninety Six, S.C.
Course: The Patriot Golf Course at Grand Harbor (Par 72, 6,165 yards)
Tournament: Big South Championship Semifinals (Match Play)
Score: Campbell 3, High Point 1
Isabell Ekstrom def. Sarah Kahn, 4&3
Patricia Garre Munoz def. Danielle Suh, 2&1
Samantha Vodry def. Tomita Arejola, 2&1 (Abandoned after 15 holes with Vodry 2UP)
Emily Hawkins def. Ashley Chalmers, 5&4
Vynie Chen tied Anna Nordfors, AS (Abandoned after 15 holes at AS)
NINETY SIX, S.C. – The High Point University women’s golf team lost to top-seeded Campbell University 3-1-1 in the semifinals of the Big South Women’s Golf Championships on Saturday morning (April 17) at The Patriot Golf Course at Grand Harbor.
Samantha Vodry was the lone Panther credited with a win on the day as she was ahead in her match 2UP with three holes to play when Campbell clinched the deciding point and play was stopped. Vynie Chen also had her match halted prematurely after 15 holes and was all square with Campbell’s top golfer and No. 66-ranked golfer in the country. Sarah Kahn, Danielle Suh, and Ashley Chalmers each fell to their Fighting Camel opponents, with Suh’s match lasting the longest at 17 holes.
“It was a very disappointing finish and week overall for us, but we put Campbell on their heels for the middle portion of several matches that gave us a chance that we were just not able to capitalize on,” head coach Alexis Bennett had to say after the event. “Lack of depth was something we fought all season long but in match play, you simply cannot rely solely on your top players. We have several things to be really proud of this year but it was an especially outstanding end to what will now be the best career performance in HPU history by Samantha. What she’s accomplished these past five years is nothing short of special. I can’t thank her enough for what she’s given to this program.”
Vodry leaves High Point after five years with multiple records, including the most eagles, birdies, rounds of par or better, and victories in any Panther’s career. She finished her career with 10 eagles to be the only member of the Purple in White in double digits and carded 318 birdies to be the only golfer in program history with a total of 300 and just the second golfer in HPU’s history, men’s or women’s, to join the 300-birdie club.
With her 70 and 72 in the final two rounds of the stroke-play portion of the championship, she moves up to 28 rounds of par or better to sit atop the High Point record books, and her two wins in back-to-back weeks heading into the championship gave her a program-high four wins in her career. Vodry has six of the top-10 54-hole scores in program history and leaves with four of the top-nine lowest single rounds the Panthers have seen, including her final-round 65 at the River Landing Classic this year that is the second-best round in team history by one shot to a 64 from teammate Kahn.
Vodry lost her first hole of the day but didn’t trail for long, tying things up a hole later and then taking the lead on hole five, which she didn’t squander. She led by as many as three on two separate occasions, including after the 14th hole, but dropped a point on 15 for her final score of 2UP. The pairing was approaching the green on the 16th hole when Campbell won the decisive point and the rest of Vodry’s match was abandoned.
Chen was also on 16 when her round was called to a stop, as she was about to tee off on the par-5. She was paired up with Campbell’s top golfer and stroke-play runner-up but held her own and clawed back from 2DN to tie it up late. Chen lost her first two holes but never trailed by more than that, eventually winning her first hole on the seventh and then her second on hole 10 to get back to AS. The Fighting Camels took the 11th but Chen responded by taking 12 to tie it up again, where it remained until the round was halted.
Kahn was in the lead pairing for HPU and trailed after every hole except the fourth. She lost her first two holes of the day but won the next two before losing three in a row. She only took one more hole – the 14th – to get back to 3DN but it was too late as Campbell took the 15th to win 4&3. Chalmers only won two points on the day and trailed after every hole. She was the second Panther to fall, dropping her match 5&4 after the 14th hole, leaving Suh, Vodry, and Chen needing to win for High Point to get the victory.
Suh was one hole ahead of Chalmers when her match went final and entered the 16th hole AS. She only trailed for two holes out of her first 15 and never by multiple points. Neither golfer led by more than one until the end in the tightest match of the day. Suh won the first before Campbell took two in a row on three and four, followed immediately by two from Suh and another two from Campbell to put Suh 1DN after an eventful first eight holes that saw only one hole halved. Suh tied it up on nine and it remained tied until she went 1UP on 14.
She lost 15 to drop back to even and then lost 16 to go 1DN with two holes to go. Both golfers put their approach shots within 10 feet on 17 and Campbell made birdie first, putting the pressure on Suh to keep the match alive. She put a good roll on the ball but it just caught the lip of the cup and spun out for Campbell’s third and final point of the match to secure a spot in the finals.