Ekey Top Individual, Bama Ties For Second

ATHENS, Ga. – Alabama senior golfer Kathleen Ekey captured her second career tournament title with a 3-under-par 69 in windy and wet conditions Sunday in the rain-shortened Liz Muprhey Collegiate Classic on the par-72, 6,335-yard University of Georgia Golf Course.

With the tournament shortened to just 18 holes after play on Friday and Saturday was rained out, Alabama finished tied for second as a team with a 14-over-par 302.

Auburn took the team title with an 11-over-par 299. Kent State equaled the Tide with a 302 with North Carolina and Ohio State finishing tied for fourth at 16-over 304.. Host No. 9 Georgia and No. 8 LSU finished tied for sixth while No. 3 Virginia and No. 5 Oklahoma State finished in a tie for eighth.

"It was a difficult day with the conditions, but Kathleen's (Ekey) round was really impressive," said Alabama Coach Mic Potter. "Her round was really more like five or six under par considering the win and wet conditions. I wish we could have finished a little stronger as a team, but I think we are showing the right kind of progress and this round was definitely something that we can build on. When you are getting into position to win tournaments, that's all you can ask for."

It was Ekey's second career tournament title after claiming the 2008 Crimson Tide Classic and just her second round in the 60s this season.

She teed off on No. 7 and recorded her only blemish of the round soon after with a bogey on No. 9. Ekey quickly recovered with a birdie on No. 10 to move back to even par. After reeling off six consecutive pars, Ekey strung together back-to-back birdies on holes 17 and 18 to take the tournament lead at 2-under.

She then posted a par on No. 1 before draining her fourth birdie of the afternoon with a three on the par-4 second hole. Ekey pared the final five holes to edge Kent State's Kirby Dreher, who made it close with an eagle on her 16th hole of the day to finish one shot back.

"It was brutal conditions out there today," Ekey said. "It was cold and windy and the course was still really wet. It is unbelievable that the staff here (University of Georgia Golf Course) was able to get this course ready to play.

"You had to be really patient out there today. I was fortunate to be able to put the ball in the exact spots I need to, and that is a premium on this golf course. It is exciting to get the win, but I really think our team is coming together and that is the most important thing."

Sophomore Camilla Lennarth finished tied for 13th with a 3-over par 75. Lennarth struggled down the stretch with three bogeys and a double-bogey over her final six holes. Brooke Pancake fired a 5-over 77 and finished tied for 30th while Helena Blomberg and Rhea Nair both shot a 9-over-81 to tie for 67th.

Alabama returns to action on April 6-7 at the Sun Trust Lady Gator Invitational at the Mark Bostick Golf Course at the University of Florida.

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