KirkwoodGolf: Alice Hewson leads Clemson to first team win

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Alice Hewson leads Clemson to first team win

Alice Hewson in action
at the 2016 Curtis Cup

Curtis Cup player Alice Hewson from Berkhamsted made a birdie on her final hole of the day to complete a dramatic comeback allowing Clemson University, South Carolina to tie with 14th ranked Miami University for the championship of the UCF Challenge at Eagle Creek Golf Club in Orlando, Florida.

It marks the first tournament championship in the four-year history of the Clemson women's golf program.

While the event is officially a co-championship, Clemson was awarded the first place trophy by virtue of the fact that Clemson's fifth best player on the scoreboard, Ana Paulona Valdes, had a lower score (75) than Miami's fifth best player.

Clemson shot a program best seven-under-par 281 to finish at 14-under-par 850, tied for top honours with Miami.

Clemson trailed by five shots with just five holes left. Texas, ranked 17th in the nation, finished third with a 10-under-par score of 854, the same as host school UCF and Mississippi State. Kent State, the highest ranked team in the tournament with a No. 10 rating, finished sixth with an 861 score.

Clemson finished higher than eight top 50 teams in the field of 17 squads from around the nation who came to Orlando to play the par 72 course.

"This was a big win for the program, the first victory in our history," said Clemson Head Coach Kelley Hester. "I am so proud of this team and the way they have worked.

"We putted the ball well all week, especially today and we stayed patient. We had a couple of holes with big scores, but everyone held their composure."

Hewson led the way with her second round of four-under-par 68. She finished fifth in the field of 96 golfers with a 209 score. She had five birdies in her final round, including her final hole where she hit her approach to within three feet. That putt combined with a bogey by a Miami (FL) player allowed the two teams to tie for the title.

UCF Challenge
Feb. 5-7, 2017
at Eagle Creek Golf Club, Orlando, Fla.
Team Results
Clemson and Miami (FL) 850,
3. Texas, Mississippi State and UCF 854,
6. Kent State 861,
7. Auburn 864,
8. Wisconsin and SMU 869,
10. Daytona State 872,
11. Iowa State 873,
12. Kentucky 874,
13. Tulane and East Carolina 876,
15. Old Dominion 877,
16. South Florida 888,
17. UNC Wilmington 906.

Clemson Team
Alice Hewson 209,
12. Kennedy Swann 212,
25. Ana Paula Valdes 216,
28. Sydney Legacy 217,
54. Jessica Hoang 222.
Clemson Individual: 45. Marisa Messana 220.