Clutch performances in the final round by sophomore Heather Fortushniak and junior Niamh McSherry proved to be the key difference for the women’s golf team at the Florida State Match-Up in Panama City, Florida, over the weekend.
Fortushniak shot the best round of the tournament on Sunday with an even-par 72, while McSherry walked things off for the Wildcats on the team’s final shot, hitting an eagle on a par-four to push Kansas State from ninth-place to a tie for sixth-place out of the 10 teams competing.
“All the girls were watching and it was a great feeling,” McSherry said to K-State Sports. “They didn’t see it go in until [Assistant Coach Jared Helin] put his arms up and they started cheering. So did Missouri and Memphis, which was also really nice.”
Going into the final day K-State was in seventh-place after a 312 performance in the first round and a 317 in the second round for a first-day total of 629 (+53).
McSherry and sophomore Briony Bayles led the team on the first day, with both finishing just outside of the top 20 on Saturday. McSherry finished her first round with a six-over-par and improved that score in the second round with a five-over-par to give her a day total of eleven-over par — was good for 21st place.
Bayles shot a four-over-par to start her day on Saturday and finished with an eight-over par in the second round, good for 12-over par on the day, tying for 24th place.
Fortushniak finished the first day tied for 32nd after shooting five-over-par in the first round and then nine-over par in the second round for a 14-over par total.
On that first day, K-State had a total of 17 birdies and was one of three teams with an eagle on the day, with Bayles claiming that eagle on her final shot of the first round.
K-State started the second day going in the wrong direction, falling back into ninth place as the performances dipped aside from McSherry and Fortushniak.
Fortushniak’s 72 on the final day was a nine-stroke improvement from her previous round, as she recorded three birdies. Overall, Fortushniak finished her weekend with a 14-over par, which put her into a tie for 14th place with McSherry who also finished her weekend with a 14-over par, capped off by an eagle on Sunday.
Just like in the second-round Bayles went nine-over par in her day two performance, giving her a 20-over par for the weekend.
Junior Reid Isaac finished her weekend on a high note, after shooting 12-over par and seven-over par day one, she concluded the tournament shooting six-over par on the second day, finishing tied at 42nd at 25-over par.
Redshirt senior Chloe Weir also finished day two with a better performance, shooting nine-over par and 10-over par on the first day, before shooting seven-over par on Sunday. Weir finished with a tie at 46th place and a 26-over par.
No. 13 Louisiana State took the team title, shooting a 22-over on the tournament. No. 2 in the nation freshman Ingrid Lindblad of LSU won the individual title and was the only player under par over the weekend, shooting four-under-par.
K-State travels to Fairfax, California, next week to compete at the Juli Inkster Invitational, hosted by San Jose State University on Monday and Tuesday.