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Eagles Win Max and Susan Stith Invitational

christina herbert, casey gaffney, jesse bartley, amanda kelley and abby papke with the team championship trophy

GLEN ALLEN, Va. - The Max and Susan Stith Invitational hosted by Randolph-Macon was shortened by weather and became a 27-hole shootout on Monday. The Bridgewater Eagles battled through less than ideal conditions and claimed their first victory of the spring season with a team score of 331- a 19-shot margin over second place Christopher Newport University.

Playing 27 holes suggested a long day on the golf course, so an hour and a half frost delay was the last thing the competitors needed. They were already facing cold temperatures and extremely wet playing conditions after a week of snow and rain at The Dominion Club in Glen Allen, Virginia.

Under these conditions the Eagles started slowly when play finally began, but within nine holes they created some momentum that carried them to the win.

After a rough start, senior Christina Herbert made birdies on the fourth, sixth, and seventh holes to save a 39 on the front. She completed her first round with a 77 and added a 39 in the afternoon for a 27-hole total of 116. She finished second among individuals, three shots behind Erica Whitehouse of Christopher Newport.

As she has been doing all season, Amanda Kelley played an impressivly steady round, shooting 82 to open tbe day and adding a 40 in the bonus nine. "Amanda has been amazingly consistent for us," said head coach John Rogers, "but I think this was actually one of her best collegiate performances so far given the conditions we were playing in." Kelley finished the day in fourth place out of 23 players.

Senior Casey Gaffney and sophomore Jesse Bartley came in just behind Kelley, tied for fifth after matching 27-hole scores of 130. Gaffney, despite a season that has been shortened and challenged by a health issue, finished the long day strong with a 42 on the final nine. The fifth place finish is a collegiate best for Bartley to date.

Freshman Abby Papke continued her trend of steady improvement by shooting a 92 in the first round. She followed that with a 51 in the extra nine.

Rogers expressed a lot of satisfaction with the team's performance on Monday. The Eagles had recently lost to both Randolph-Macon and Christopher Newport, and they were playing a long, wet golf course they had never seen before. "Top to bottom this was the kind of day that makes a coach proud," he said. "We have players who have been struggling to hit their stride, and players playing through pain, and players spending eight hours on the golf course in less than ideal conditions, and the ladies were able to finish ahead of some strong competition."

This marked the third team victory of the Eagles' 2017-18 campaign.