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Eagles Have Strong Final Day at ODAC Championship

the team poses with a statue outside the golf course

GREENSBORO, N.C. - After two days of above-average scores at Bryan Park golf course the Bridgewater women's golf team was very unlikely to move up from their third place standing, but they nonetheless finished with their best round of the 2018-19 season.

The Eagles posted four scores in the 80s on Tuesday to shave an impressive 26 strokes from their round 1 and round 2 totals. They were led by junior Jesse Bartley who shot 82 to finish with a three day total of 254. Bartley, who shaved five strokes from her 2018 championship total on the same golf course, finished in seventh place to claim a tournament flag for the second time in her career. She came out playing steadily early in the round, making seven pars on her front nine to shoot 2-over par.

Senior Amanda Kelley finished out her career in style lowering her score each day of the tournament culminating with a final score of 84 on Tuesday. Kelley hit her approach on the par-4 17th hole to two feet for birdie, but the highlight of the day was being able to walk her final fairway with her father, Nelson Kelley. "Amanda has embodied every trait we look for and respect in student athletes at Bridgewater," said head coach John Rogers. "As a first semester freshman she barely got any playing time and as a final semester senior she was a team captain, and first-team All ODAC selection. I think she improved by something close to nine strokes over the span of her college career, but she has meant much more to our team than that, as well as to me personally."

Freshman Heather Donnelly had a breakout round, shooting an 83 that was her best collegiate score by three strokes, but four strokes in relation to par. Donnelly, who has been working diligently on new swing techniques in her first year of college, felt that things were coming together when she played the front nine at 4-over par including a triple bogey on the difficult fifth hole.

Sophomore Abby Papke- after opening the championship with a pair of 94s- vowed she was going to eliminate the blow-up holes that had plagued her, and she came through with an 87 in the final round which included a birdie on a par-5 that she took a quintuple bogey on during the second round. Papke had an impressive 42 on the front none for the second day in a row, but today she was seven strokes better on the back nine than yesterday.

Freshman Hannah Woodson also finished the ODAC Championship with her lowest round, a score of 99.

The team total of 336 was beaten or matched by the Eagles twice in the season, but in relation to par this was their best performance of the year, and only the third time they posted four scores in the 80s. Kelley's 84 led her to an 11th place finish, narrowly missing her third ODAC flag. "I did not go as low as I would have liked this ODACs, but I just enjoyed the experience and had fun," the senior said. "These past four years playing for Bridgewater have been amazing from my teammates to my coach, but it was a perfect ending walking with my dad for my final hole of my collegiate career."

The Eagles entered the final round trailing the champions from W&L and upstart Shenandoah University by significant amounts. "We really didn't have a lot to play for today, other than pride," noted Rogers. "Some teams might have gone through the motions, but these ladies slammed their foot on the gas pedal and turned what could have been a frustrating experience into a good memory." In the seven years since the inception of the women's program, this is the first time the Eagles have placed lower than second in the ODAC Championship, as the depth and talent in the conference continues to grow.