April 16, 2014
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Ole Miss women’s golf team continues its quest for the programs first SEC Championship this weekend at the 2014 SEC Women’s Golf Championship held at Greystone Golf and Country Club in Birmingham. The championship begins on Friday (April 18) and concludes on Sunday (April 20). The three-day event will determine who get the SEC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.
Abby Newton, Stani Schiavone, Alison Hovatter, Taelor Rubin and Maria Toennessen will represent the Rebels at the SEC Championships. This group has represented Ole Miss in each of its tournaments this spring and is looking to improve on Ole Miss’ 12th-place finish at last season’s championships, also held at the Greystone Gold and Country Club. Rubin and Toennessen will be playing in their first SEC Championships.
The Rebels enter the 2014 SEC Championships fresh off a 10th place finish at the Rebel Intercollegiate at the Ole Miss Golf Course (April 4-5). The finish was Ole Miss’ third consecutive top 10 finish.
“As we began our preparation for the SEC Championship we knew the little things that we needed to work on,” said Ole Miss head coach Michele Drinkard. “The team accepted the challenge and I feel good about our preparation. We have two things left to finish in preparation once we get to the course. We need to learn the speed of the greens and each player will create their strategy. After that, the plan is simple it becomes ‘go time’. I believe this team will compete their hearts out every shot, on every hole and at the end of the day that is all any coach can ask for.”
Abby Newton is leading the Rebels this season and through eight tournaments has a 74.56 stroke average and has posted three top 20 finishes and earned a season-best seventh-place finish at the Clover Cup in Mesa, Ariz. Schiavone is also playing some of her best golf as of late. The Pennsylvania, native played her best round of the season, firing a four-under par 68 in the final round of the Rebel Intercollegiate. Schiavone paced the Rebels in the 2013 SEC Championships, placing 14th in the individual competition.
Toennessen will be playing in her first SEC Championship and enters the weekend playing some good golf. The Norwegian carded rounds of 73 and 72 at the Rebel Intercollegiate and tied her career-low for 54 holes with a 222. Alabama native Hovatter returns to her home state for the weekend looking to improve on her 52nd place finish last year.
Ole Miss’ best finish at the SEC Championship under Drinkard is a seventh-place finish during the 2008-09 season. Overall under Drinkard at the SEC Championship, Ole Miss has finished in the top-10 four times in her six seasons as head coach. The Rebels best finish at the SEC Championships is third in 1999.
For all Ole Miss women’s golf news and information, go to OleMissSports.com, and follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissWGolf and on Facebook at Ole Miss WGolf.