FINDLAY, Ohio (May 16, 2017) – Rollins defense of its national title began as soon as they stepped off the course in Denver a year ago and ends this week at the 2017 NCAA Division II Women's Golf National Championship May 17-20 in Findlay, Ohio.
Adding to the storylines, Rollins is playing in the hometown of program matriarch Peggy Kirk Bell (Rollins Class of 1943) who passed away in November at the age of 95. The “First Lady of Golf” Ms. Bell was a pioneer of the sport and charter member and founder of the LPGA. A tribute to Ms. Bell hangs in the clubhouse at Findlay Country Club.
The third-ranked Tars are coming off a thrilling runner-up finish at the NCAA Super Regional to earn their trip to Northwest Ohio. Heading into the final round needing to make up at least five shots and jump two schools to get into the mix for a national championship bid, the Tars posted the best round of the entire tournament and finished on the heels of top-ranked Barry. Freshman Seher Atwal led the way for the Tars, tying or seventh, while junior Lexie Toth tied for 10th.
In 12 events this year, Rollins has only been out of the top-10 once (Ruth's Chris Tar Heel Invitational) with eight top-five's and two victories. The Tars won the season opening Ross Resorts Invitational and the Barry Women's Invitational by 10 strokes.
Toth will be playing close to home having grown up in Dublin, Ohio near Columbus. The Second Team All-Sunshine State Conference honoree leads the Tars and is 33rd nationally with a 75.56 stroke average. Toth was the Tars top-finisher at last year's national championship, taking fourth place with a one-over 289 after tying for ninth as a freshman.
Atwal joined Toth on the WGCA All-South Region list and carries a 75.97 stroke average. She has been hot as of late with three top-10 finishes in the last five events
Senior Paige Lyle joins an exclusive club by playing in four-straight NCAA National Championships and was named Second Team All-SSC earlier in the season. She is third in the team with a 76.44 average. The Orlando native tied for 36th at the national championship last season after tying for 20th in both her freshman and sophomore campaigns.
Selin Timur brings a 76.48 stroke average into her first national championship with four top-10 finishes and a low round of 68 to close the Harvard Invitational.
Madison Lellyo is playing in a third national championship tournament having finished runner-up as a freshman and tying for 53rd last season. This year she has a 77.64 stroke average and one top-10 finish.
Since the NCAA began sponsoring Division II women's golf, no school has earned more trophies than Rollins. The Tars have won six titles and six times been runner-up. The tournament was last held in Findlay in 2009 with the Tars tying for third place.
Rollins history at the NCAA Division II National Championship.
2016 - 1st
2015 – 2nd
2014 – 4th
2013 – did not make field
2012 – did not make field
2011 – 2nd
2010 – 2nd
2009 – T-3rd
2008 – 1st
2007 – 2nd
2006 – 1st
2005 – 1st
2004 – 1st
2003 – 1st
2002 – did not make field
2001 – 2nd
2000 – 2nd
Rollins will start play on Wednesday, May, 17 matched up with Indianapolis and Dallas Baptist. UIndy won the 2015 national championship while DBU is currently ranked No. 2 in the nation. Teams will start on the 10th tee beginning at 8:55 a.m. The tournament will continue with one round each day through May 20th. Fans can follow the action live at GolfStat.com.