Emory men and women make it a sweep at Golfweek DIII Fall Invitational at Sandestin
While the women mounted a comeback on Centre College, the men won wire to wire.
Emory head coach Katie Futcher keeps an important statistic for her team throughout the season. The bounce-back column is all about what a player does after she makes a bogey.
At the Golfweek Division III Fall Invitational, Emory pulled off the ultimate bounce-back, coming from two shots behind Centre College entering the final round to win the tournament, its second in four starts this fall.
“Fighting, always finishing to the end, we always try to preach that with all of our ladies in our program,” Futcher said of the importance of that stat. “To finish today with a win after coming in trailing is good.”
Emory’s round of 8-over 296 was its best round of the week at Baytowne Golf Club in Destin, Florida. At 35 over, Emory was two better than Centre College for 54 holes. Emory freshman Sharun Mun won the individual title at 3 over.
It’s the midway point of the semester for many teams, Emory included. Futcher’s players were coming off midterms and the exhaustion that often comes with that. But Futcher never looks at scoring during a tournament and stays in the moment. She didn’t know her team had a chance for the comeback win until the final putt.
Futcher is an accomplished player herself, having been the leading scorer at Penn State for all four years of her college career before going on to play on the LPGA for nine years. After qualifying for the LPGA in just her second attempt, Futcher competed in more than 25 major championships and 120 events while earning Class A status with the LPGA. In 2012, she made 18 cuts in 23 events and posted a pair of top-10 finishes including ties for eighth at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open and the RICOH Women’s British Open.
She took the helm at Emory in 2018 and has watched the program grow.
“They’ve been working really hard, last tournament of the season, really tried to just keep them focused, keep them calm,” Futcher said of this week’s win. “Really had them rely on all the work they’ve put in this semester. I don’t think anyone has outworked us and that’s part of winning. Winning feels good – the work part doesn’t always feel good – but you have to do the work to win.”
Emory’s men made it a sweep for the Eagles by finishing 13 shots ahead of runner-up Methodist. At 12 under par, Emory was the only team in the red at the end of three rounds at the Raven Golf Club.
The Eagles tied for first at the Wabash Invitational to start the month and last week, won outright at the Tartan Invitational.
“We’ve been good this fall, I thought we’d be competitive,” said head coach John Sjoberg. “Our start today was just unbelievable, five birdies on the first hole and that kind of separated us a little bit from Methodist and we were able to continue to play well and hold them off.”
Last month, Emory finished second to Methodist at the Division III Fall Preview at Mission Inn.
Sjoberg says this team is deeper – Nos. 1 to 9 – than it ever has been.
“Qualifying has been really competitive so that’s really set us up to come to events like this and feel like we’ve got a good chance to be a good team,” he said.
In the individual competition, Averett’s Caleb Kimbrough went 8 under to edge Carnegie Mellon’s William Knauth and Emory’s Jackson Klutznick.