By COURTLIN HAYGARTH | HSU Sports Network
DENTON, Texas — For the second consecutive tournament, the Henderson State women’s golf team came into the final round in second place and left with the win. Tuesday, the Reddies trailed No. 2/4 Lynn by five strokes before using a 5-under 283 final round to seize the victory with a 54-hole score of 6-under 858.
After winning the season-opening Central Region Fall Preview, HSU made a statement in the Lone Star State, defeating three Top-5 teams, including besting event host No. 1 Dallas Baptist by eight strokes.
The Reddies led by as many as nine strokes halfway through the back-nine as all five HSU golfers were sporting sub-par rounds. Between holes 10-14, Henderson saw just one bogey and eight birdies between all five players.
Gracen Blount finished the 54-hole event tied for sixth in the 85-player field, carding a 5-under 211 for her second best collegiate score while at HSU. Last year, Blount set the Par 72, 54-hole program record with a 1-under 215 at the 2022 GAC Championships. Tuesday, Blount beat that record by four strokes.
Before Blount set the new program record, Allie Bianchi had also bested Blount’s score from last year as she carded a 3-under 213 for a tie at ninth. After shooting a 1-over 73 on the first round, the Allen, Texas native shot back-to-back 2-under 70s.
Incoming junior transfer Jinna Boonbumroongsuk had the best final found of any Reddie as she used a 3-under 69 to finish in a tie for 18th with a 1-over 217, climbing up the leaderboard 21 spots.
Freshman Lily Nelson tied Boonbumroongsuk at 1-over 217 while Daphney Tilton, who was the highest finishing golfer for HSU at the Central Region Fall Preview two weeks ago, tied for 56th with a 10-over 226.
After defeating several teams who were ranked ahead of them in the Women’s Golf Coaches Association Preseason Poll, No. 13 Henderson St. will look to move up the rankings when the WGCA releases its second installment of the Top-25 poll Friday, Sept. 23.
After a bit of time off, up next for the Reddies will be the National Championship Preview in Eureka, Missouri Oct. 10-12. Following that will be the Battle for the Belt, hosted by HSU, Oct. 17-18.