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Runner-up finish for Murphy, Auburn at Pinehurst
Oct. 11, 2016

PINEHURST, N.C. – Led by junior Kelli Murphy, the Auburn women’s golf team earned a runner-up finish at the Pinehurst Challenge, which wrapped up Tuesday at Pinehurst No. 1.

Murphy posted a 1-under-par round of 71 to earn her second career runner-up finish, shooting 65-73-71=209 (-7) for the week to finish one shot back of East Carolina’s Lisa Pettersson. She recorded four birdies on the day, and her 54-hole total of 209 tied for the ninth-best in Auburn history.

As a team, Auburn gained ground on East Carolina in the final round but still finished in second place at 288-294-286=868 (+4), seven shots back of the Pirates. The Tigers were 13 strokes clear of third-place Maryland.

“I’m so pleased with the solid final round today,” Auburn head coach Melissa Luellen said. “We just faltered in the second round and East Carolina played great. We were led by Kelli, who was in the hunt until the very end. This young team learned how important every shot is from start to finish.”

Junior Michaela Owen earned her second straight top-10 finish, tying for sixth place at 218 (+2). She posted a final-round 73 that included four birdies, moving up from a tie for ninth after two rounds. Owen has finished in the top 20 in all four events so far this fall, including a seventh-place finish last week at the Cougar Classic.

Freshman Kayley Marschke turned in her best collegiate round Tuesday, posting a 1-under-par 71 to move from a tie for 40th up to a tie for 14th and earn her first top-20 finish. Marschke carded three birdies on her final round. Fellow freshman Elena Hualde also finished strong with a 71 (-1) to move up 31 spots on the leaderboard to a tie for 37th place.

“Michaela had another solid finish and Kayley had her first top-15 finish,” Luellen said. “We’ll get a little rest for a couple days, then back to hard work and preparation for our final tournament of the fall in San Antonio.”

Auburn will wrap up the fall season in two weeks at the Maryb S. Kauth Invitational (formerly known as the Alamo Invitational), which runs Oct. 23-25 at Briggs Ranch Golf Club just outside San Antonio.

Final results from the Pinehurst Challenge, hosted by College of Charleston at Pinehurst No. 1 (par 72, 5,974 yards) in Pinehurst, North Carolina.

Auburn Individuals
2. Kelli Murphy – 65-73-71=209 (-7)
T6. Michaela Owen – 71-74-73=218 (+2)
T14. Kayley Marschke – 77-73-71=221 (+5)
T37. Elena Hualde – 76-78-71=225 (+9)
T62. Mai Dechathipat – 76-74-81=231 (+15)
*T62. Clara Baena – 74-79-78=231 (+15)
*competing as an individual; score does not count toward team total

Team Standings
1. East Carolina – 861 (-3)
2. Auburn – 868 (+4)
3. Maryland – 881 (+17)
4. College of Charleston – 887 (+23)
5. Samford – 888 (+24)
T6. Wichita State – 890 (+26)
T6. Charleston Southern – 890 (+26)
8. Kennesaw State – 897 (+33)
9. North Florida – 899 (+35)
10. James Madison – 904 (+40)
T11. Stetson – 905 (+41)
T11. Elon – 905 (+41)
13. Jacksonville State – 906 (+42)
14. Morehead State – 910 (+46)
15. High Point – 911 (+47)
16. Georgia State – 912 (+48)
17. UNC Greensboro – 920 (+56)
18. William & Mary – 934 (+70)



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