FORT MYERS, Fla. — WKU’s Georgina Blackman notched the best individual performance in a conference tournament by a Lady Topper in nearly two decades Wednesday at the 2017 Conference USA Women’s Golf Championship.
The junior Blackman tied for seventh with a 4-over total of 220 (72-74-74) across three rounds at the par-72, 6,194-yard Verandah Club, setting a new program record for lowest total score in a conference championship by an individual.
It’s the sixth top-10 performance of the season for the Essex, England, native and her fourth straight result of seventh place or better. Blackman finished in the top 25 in 10 of 11 events this season.
Blackman’s tie for seventh is the best conference tournament finish by a Lady Topper since Crystal Anglea finished fifth in the 2000 Sun Belt Conference Championship.
“I felt confident going into the tournament, because this is my third year of being here, so I know the course and love playing it,” Blackman said. “I’m really proud of the way I handled myself out there this week. I struggled to get it going in my last two rounds, so to finish 4 over for the tournament and inside the top 10, I’m really happy.
WKU has had top-10 individual finishers in back-to-back seasons, following Ellinor Haag’s ninth-place showing a year ago. The program previously hadn’t had a top-10 effort since 2007.
The Lady Toppers finished sixth as a team with a 906 (305-295-306) tally. That was one stroke better than the squad’s score last year, when they tied for fourth.
WKU’s 906 total is its second-best conference championship score in program history, topped only by an 890 in the 2015 C-USA Championship.
“As a team I think we should be pleased with how we played,” Blackman said. “We got off to a slow start and even though we didn’t play as well as we know we can, we still managed to turn it around and finish in a better place than we started. There are a lot of positives we can take away from this week moving forward, which leaves us excited for next season.”
Behind Blackman, junior Katie Story finished strong with an even-par 72 on Wednesday for a 226 (80-74-72) total and a tie for 24th. It was her eighth top-25 finish of the season.
“I’m pleased with how the team did today,” WKU head coach Adam Gary said. “We had a great round Tuesday and were able to improve on our eighth seed and finish sixth. It was good to be able to push ahead of a couple of teams ranked ahead of us. I was also really proud of Georgina. She was consistent all week, and a top-10 finish is a solid performance.”
Old Dominion won the team championship, while Middle Tennessee’s Jenna Burris was the individual medalist.
The Lady Toppers close the season with seven top-five team finishes in 11 tournaments, including five top-three results and a victory in the season-opening Drake Creek Invitational.
The win was WKU’s fourth team championship in Gary’s third season at the helm. His four titles are the second-most for a Lady Topper coach, and he’s the second coach in program history to win a tournament in each of his/her first three seasons with the reins.
WKU also logged 13 individual top-10 finishes across the season, including two victories by Joiner.
C-USA Women’s Golf Championship Final Results
T7. Georgina Blackman (72-74-74-220)
T24. Katie Story (80-74-72-226)
T30. Daniela Galassi (75-73-82-230)
T42. Mary Joiner (78-79-79-236)
T24. Abigail Smee (81-74-81-236)