Freshman Leads Tide Women To Golf Title

RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico – Alabama true freshman Stephanie Meadow led the top-ranked Alabama women's golf team to the program's third tournament title of the 2010-11 season on Tuesday with a five-stroke victory at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic at the par-72, 6,191-yard River Course at the Rio Mar Beach Resort.

Alabama has won the Lady Puerto Rico Classic each of the last three times they have played in the event. UA has back-to-back tournament titles in Puerto Rico to go along with their 2008 win.

Alabama edged a hard-charging Iowa State team by five strokes for the win. The Cyclones had erased the Tide's nine-shot lead midway through the round to take the lead, but UA closed well for the win. Florida State (+27, 891) finished third with Purdue (+32, 896) in fourth and Georgia (+43, 907) in fifth.

"Iowa State played well today and got at least a couple strokes ahead of us at one point in the middle of the round," said Alabama Coach Mic Potter. "We didn't look like we had anything going at all, and then all of the sudden we got a couple of putts to drop and hit the shots down the stretch we needed to win. At the same time, Iowa State helped us out with a couple of bogeys."

Meadow, a native of Jordanstown, Northern Ireland, shot a 3-under-par 69 in Tuesday's final round to capture her first medalist honors. She finished at 4-under-par 212 to edge Florida State's Maria Salinas by one shot and Georgia's Marta Silva Zamora by two strokes. The 69 and 212 were both career bests for Meadow, who won in just her fifth tournament since joining the Crimson Tide in August.

"Stephanie was just awesome today," Potter said. "She was really solid and really steady. I knew since the time she got on campus that she was going to be a missing link for us. She is a player that knows how to win tournaments."

It is the first time in Mic Potter's six seasons in Tuscaloosa the Hall of Fame coach has captured three team titles in a season. It also marks the second-most tournament wins in a season in school history. The 1987 squad won four tournaments en route to the school's first NCAA Championship appearance.

Alabama had three players finish in the top 10 with senior Camilla Lennarth (+3, 219) in sixth place and sophomore Jennifer Kirby (+6, 222) in a tie for ninth. A double bogey on the final hole cost Brooke Pancake (+8, 224) a top-10 showing leaving her in a tie for 13th. Courtney Harter finished in a tie for 59th at 236.

Both Lennarth and Kirby shot 1-over-par 73 in Tuesday's final round. Lennarth gave up three strokes on the 12th and 13th holes with a bogey and double bogey but rebounded with back-to-back birdies on No. 15 and 16.

The Crimson Tide is off for almost two weeks before traveling to New Orleans, La., for the Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate on Feb. 27-March 1 at the English Turn Country Club.

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