There and back again: Women’s golf claims Sun Belt title

Jill Odom

Sports Editor


The pouring rain and lightening did not dampen the spirits of the women’s golf team, and that determination helped the team clench its second straight Sun Belt Conference Championship.

Returning to Loxley on Monday, April 13, Troy was still on the front nine when inclement weather struck. Play was halted and Troy wrapped up the opening round on Tuesday.

The second round of the championship was no less stormy and only South Alabama and ULM were able to finish 18 holes of what was scheduled to be a 54-hole tournament.

Despite the weather, Troy maintained its lead by staying 11-over par. Senior Sydney Conrad had a pair of birdies and senior Taylor McGraw was six over par and birdied her final hole before play was halted.

On Wednesday, April 15, the final day of the championship, Troy won the Sun Belt Conference title for the second consecutive time.

The Trojans were 12 strokes ahead of rival Texas State, who finished in second.

Birdies helped distance Troy from Texas State and in the second round Troy shot a 4-over 292, which is its third best round of the year.

Three of the Trojans finished in the top-seven.

Senior Langley Vannoy finished in third place after shooting a 145, and tied with her career best.

“I opened with a birdie in the second round and it gave me a lot of confidence to go out and do the best I could do,” Vannoy said. “I love Troy so much and I feel so honored to be part of this program. We have such great team unity, and I couldn’t have wished for anything more.”

A few places behind, sophomore Becca Horner placed fifth with her first career under par round. Freshman Fatima Fernandez Cano tied for seventh.

Conrad and McGraw rounded things out tied for 13th and 15th, respectively.

“This is a special group and I feel very lucky and privileged to have spent these two years with these players,” said second-year head coach Bart Barnes. “You go into a coaching career wanting to win championships, but to start my career like this is something that is really hard to put into perspective right now.”

Troy’s Sun Belt title win has earned it an automatic selection into the NCAA Regionals. Troy first appeared in the NCAA Regionals last season.

The entire NCAA field will be announced on April 27. The Trojans will travel to play a one of the four locations: South Bend, Indiana; Raleigh, North Carolina; San Antonio, Texas; or St. George, Utah.

The NCAA Regionals will take place on May 7-9.

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