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Bartley, Eagles Win Shenandoah Shootout

the eagles' team picture at shenandoah

WINCHESTER, Va. - The Shenandoah Invitational was shortened to a 27-hole, one-day event on Saturday and the Bridgewater women's golf team, led by junior Jesse Bartley, finished sixteen strokes ahead of their hosts to win for the fourth time in the 2018-19 season.

Bartley shot 83 in the opening round Saturday and led the field on the bonus nine, coming in with a 39 to claim her first career medal. When she birdied the third hole on the Blue Course at Shenandoah Valley Golf Club, Bartley was just one over par on the final nine. She missed a birdie on the 5th hole by one inch, then had great saves on the 6th and 7th holes, from a greenside bunker on six and up-and-down from 50 yards to save par on seven. Her 27-hole total of 122 gave her a four-shot victory over teammate Amanda Kelley.

"I was hitting the ball solid throughout the day and I was able to recover from shots I maybe didn't hit so well," said Bartley. "It was a great day because everybody played well."

Kelley got off to an unusually slow start and after a double bogey on her sixth hole she was already 8-over par. She started to build momentum though on the following hole- after popping up her tee shot and chunking her approach on the par-4 seventh hole, she pitched in from 55 yards out for birdie. She added another birdie on the par-5 ninth hole (White Course) to get her round back on track. Kelley rallied in similar fashion on the Blue Course during the final nine when she followed a double bogey on the third hole with back-to-back birdies on #4 and #5. She ended up posting 85 plus 41 (126) to finish second, her fifth appearance in the top-5 this season.

Freshman Heather Donnelly, showing the results of some recent hard work on her swing and putting, shot 86 in the initial round and followed it with a 43 on the blue course for a total of 129. The fifth place result was her first top-10 collegiate finish. "Today those testy five and six foot putts started falling for Heather," said head coach John Rogers. "Which is a direct result of some extra time on the practice green recently. She is also making some serious headway with her full swing."

Freshman Hannah Woodson finished in the top-10 for the second straight event and provided the Eagles' fourth score after shooting 91 plus 41 (132). Woodson was pleased with her ball striking, but stated her intention of putting better in the near future.

Sophomore Abby Papke shot 89 plus 46 (135).

Senior Meghan Morris made the most of her final collegiate event shooting 105 plus 52 (157) playing as an individual. Scoring at that level marks an improvement of 25 strokes from her freshman year scoring average.

For much of the day the host team, Shenandoah University, stayed close to Bridgewater in scoring, but the Eagles' strong play on the final nine helped them pull away from the Hornets as well as Virginia Wesleyan and Southern Virginia University.

"Having graduated Christina Herbert, one of the best players in the country, you could say this season was supposed to be a 'rebuilding' year," said Rogers. "But these ladies have been great competitors and now have four victories. It was great to see the whole team play well as we head toward the ODAC Championship, and it was very satisfying for Jesse to be medalist. She has always had the talent, but I think she just needed to prove it to herself."

The ODAC Championship starts on April 28th.