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  • Daniel Hooker

Lohbauer, Mapanao Post Top 10s at Puerto Rico Classic

Elizabeth Lohbauer and Brie Mapanao both posted Top 10 individual finishes to lead a Catamount third-round charge as Western Carolina finished fifth at the Puerto Rico Classic, hosted by Ball State on the Flamboyan Course at the par-72, 6,026-yard Palmas Del Mar. Lohbauer slipped two spots into a fifth-place finish with a three-day score of 1-under par 215 while Mapanao moved up one position to finish tied for seventh at 1-over par 217.


Opening on the par-5 10th tee, Lohbauer carded a birdie on her first hole of the final round as a part of two birdies against three bogeys on the back nine to make the turn for home at 1-over par. Consecutive birdies on the par-4 second and par-5 third dropped her to 1-under par with six holes to play. The Venice, Fla., product was poised for her second round under par until a bogey on the 54th hole of her round left her even for a three-day score of 1-under par 215.


Mapanao fired a final round even-par 72 to finish the event at 1-over par, countering three bogeys with a trio of birdies to accompany 12 pars on Thursday. Lohbauer and Mapanao both carded a team-best 10 birdies in the mid-week tournament, while Mapanao led the field in par-4 scoring at 4-under par (3.87).


Sophomore Sadler Miller and fifth-year senior Victoria Ladd were WCU’s biggest movers on Thursday, climbing 13 and 18 positions, respectively, to finish in a tie for 26th and 37th. Miller overcame a pair of blemishes with a bogey and a double-bogey with two birdies among her final three holes to post her best round of the tournament at even-par to finish at 226. Ladd overcame a double-bogey and a bogey on two of her first three holes, carding a pair of birdies to shoot her best 18-hole score at 1-over par 73 to finish with a total of 230.


Rounding out WCU’s scoring five was redshirt junior Kayleigh Baker in a tie for 47th at 234, carding a birdie and WCU’s lone eagle of the event on the par-5, 485-yard No. 3. Baker was tied with WCU’s individual as Kaitlyn Wingnean moved up 13 spots to finish tied for 47th at 234, shooting 2-over par 74 in Thursday’s final round. Wingnean finished seventh in the field with a team-best 37 pars.


Charging to the top of the leaderboard in Wednesday’s second round, Florida Gulf Coast pulled away for a seven-stroke victory over first-round leader California Baptist, 865-to-872. Seattle moved up one spot into third at 876, with Little Rock (878) and WCU (884) rounding out the top five.


The Southern Conference was well-represented in the Top Five of the individual standings as UNCG’s Ava Romfo (213) claimed a one-strike win over a two-way tie for second between FGCU’s Posie Farrelly and Wofford’s Bella Kent at 2-under par 214. WCU’s Lohbauer gave the conference a third in the top of the leaderboard in fifth place.


Western Carolina women’s golf returns to action March 15-17 at the Low Country Invitational, hosted by Wofford on the Moss Creek – South Course on Hilton Head Island, S.C.



5 – Western Carolina – 292 – 303 – 289 = 884 (+20)

5 – Elizabeth Lohbauer – 69 – 74 – 72 = 215 (-1)

T7 – Brie Mapanao – 71 – 74 – 72 = 217  (+1)

T26 – Sadler Miller – 76 – 78 – 72 = 226 (+10)

T37 – Victoria Ladd – 80 – 77 – 73 = 230 (+14)

T47 – Kayleigh Baker – 76 – 78 – 80 = 234 (+18)

T47 – Kaitlyn Wingnean (ind.) – 83 – 77 – 74 = 234 (+18)

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