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Smith Claims Medalist Honors as UCF Women Earn Second Straight Victory

by James Warnick

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Freshman Molly Smith recorded her first collegiate victory en route to leading UCF women’s golf to its second consecutive tournament title on Tuesday by winning the Mercedes-Benz Intercollegiate by 12 strokes with a 17-under-par 835.

The 27th-ranked Knights carded scores of 271, 291 and 273 over the three-day event to finish at 17-under and win the stacked event that was hosted by the University of Tennessee at Cherokee County Club in Knoxville, Tennessee. The 835 marks the second-best 54-hole team score in UCF history. The opening-round 271 will also go down as the second-lowest single-round team score in program history.

In just her third collegiate event, the freshman Smith claimed medalist honors by firing a 12-under-par 201. The 201 is a new Mercedes-Benz Intercollegiate record and the third-best 54-hole score in UCF history.

After opening with a 5-under-par 66 on Sunday and a 1-under 70 on Monday, Smith saved the best for last by carding an impressive tally of eight birdies during Tuesday’s final round, which included shooting a 6-under on the back nine. During Tuesday’s back nine, Smith posted five consecutive birdies on holes 13-17 to secure the individual win. Smith led all competitors at the tournament with 15 birdies and her final-round 65 ties for the fifth-best 18-hole score in program history.

Tunrada "Pat" Piddon also posted a top-10 finish for the Black & Gold at the event by tying for 10th with a 1-under-par 212. Piddon carded scores of 69, 74 and 69 on her way to finishing in the top 10, which included four birdies during Tuesday’s final round.

Jess Baker was next for UCF by tying for 20th with a 2-over-par 215 (68-77-70), while Brittany Shin tied for 50th at 10-over-par (81-73-69—223). Playing the tournament as an individual, Camille Banzet tied for 56th at 12-over (78-76-71—225). Baker, Shin, and Smith each recorded an eagle during the event.

Behind UCF’s 835, No. 9 Ole Miss finished second with a 5-under-par 847. No. 22 Pepperdine and Maryland tied for third at even-par (852), while Louisville (855) and No. 11 Clemson (862) rounded out the top six. Fellow Big 12 foes Kansas State (866) and Kansas (888) placed seventh and 13th, respectively, at the 14-team event.

The team victory marks UCF's second of the young season and 12th career win under head coach Emily Marron

The Knights will close the fall portion of their schedule Oct. 27-29 at the Landfall Tradition at Landfall Country Club in Wilmington, North Carolina.

1. #27 UCF - 835 (-17)
2. #9 Ole Miss - 847 (-5)
T3. #22 Pepperdine - 852 (E)
T3. Maryland - 852 (E)
5. Louisville - 855 (+3)
6. #11 Clemson - 862 (+10)
T7. NC State - 866 (+14)
T7. Kansas State - 866 (+14)
9. Tennessee - 867 (+15)
10. Kent State - 869 (+17)
11. Chattanooga - 883 (+31)
12. Wisconsin - 887 (+35)
13. #29 Kansas - 888 (+36)
14. East Tennessee State - 905 (+53)