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Courtesy: Appalachian State Athletics
Record Final Round Lifts App to Third at Sun Belt
Courtesy: Appalachian State Sports Information
Release: Wednesday 04/19/2017 (ET)

MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. – Appalachian State fired a program record 3-under 285 in the final round to tie for third at the 2017 Sun Belt Women’s Golf Championships on Wednesday at the Fighting Joe Course.

Sophomore Joliana Elias’ (Jamestown, N.C.) and freshman Melany Chong (Missasauga, Ontario) both fired 2-under 70s as App State notched its best conference tournament finish since playing against a full field in either the Southern Conference or the Sun Belt.

Troy captured the team title at 878 (+14), holding off Georgia State (+19) down the stretch. App State and Texas State both tied for third at 886 (+22) for the week. App’s 285 (-3) was six shots better than any other team in the field in the final round. Arkansas State (+36) took fifth.

“I’m beyond proud of these ladies,” App State head coach Heather Brown said following the round. “They stuck to the process of preparation all last week and, especially our game plan these last three days. Now the result speaks for itself.”

Elias and Chong were flawless down the stretch, as Elias nabbed her first top five in taking third place at 1-under for the week. She finished five shots back of Texas State’s Sasikarn Somboonsup and one shot behind Troy’s Fatima Cano. Elias opened with five consecutive pars before a bogey on No. 6, but played her final 12 holes at 3-under with three birdies and no bogeys. Chong played her final 16 holes without a bogey to shoot a career-best 70 (-2) and finished tied for 12th at 6-over. She birdied the par-3 18th to finish her best collegiate event to date.

“Jo certainly lead the way,” Brown added of Elias. “She stayed patient and played within herself. I’m happy for her great showing and she had a great team to back her up. Today's record score represents the hard work of all of the players in and out of the (lineup). “Congratulations to these girls on a strong finish, especially the seniors.”

Seniors Hannah Craver (Winston-Salem, N.C.) and Emily Stinson (Charlotte, N.C.) both finished out their career on high note with the school record and with strong rounds. Stinson made four birdies in an even-par round of 72 to finish tied for 24th, while Craver closed out with a 73 (+1) to tie for 17th. Craver holed out on the par-4 fourth for an eagle to get her round going. Junior Savanna Wood (Boone, N.C.) had a pair of birdies in her round of 82 (+10) to take 40th overall.

The 285 (-3) was seven shots better than App’s previous best round, a 292 (+4) at the Winthrop Intercollegiate in 2012-13.

-App State-

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