The 2018 NCAA Division III Women’s Golf Championship couldn’t have come down to the wire any more than it did, as Claremont-Mudd-Scripps won its first-ever national championship after defeating Williams College in a two-hole playoff.
CMS entered the final round on Friday with a four-stroke lead over Williams and an eight-stroke lead over third-place George Fox University. However, Williams made a strong push in the final round, shooting a round-best +21 as a team, even taking a two-stroke lead at one point in the back nine, before CMS made a comeback of its own.
In the playoff, all five golfers on both teams played the 18th hole in pairs, but the two teams were forced to play the hole three times in a row (once in the final round, then twice in the playoff) for Claremont-Mudd-Scripps to come out on top. CMS’ Margaret Loncki also took home the individual national title after shooting a +6, 79 on Friday to finish the week at +11.
NYU’s Navika Kuchakulla placed second at +14, one stroke ahead of Wittenberg’s Jane Hopkinson-Wood, who shot +15 for the week.
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The championships will consist of both team and individual competition conducted concurrently. Following 54 holes of competition, the field will be cut to the top 15 teams and top six individuals not on one of those teams to compete the final day. In the team competition, the low four scores from each team for each day will count in the team’s total score.
Rhodes College has won the last two national titles, and three of the last four, but this season Rhodes is not in the field. Last year’s runner-up, George Fox, enters this season’s championships as the No. 2-ranked team in the West Regional Ranking, behind Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.
All that to say, we’ll be crowning a new national champion this season. Does Williams take its second title? Does Methodist reclaim its former dominant form? It should be good stuff.
Follow along below for live updates across all four days of action: