Alva Review-Courier -

Golden Suns picks to win 5th straight women's golf conference championship

 

August 17, 2018



RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. - Arkansas Tech has been named the favorite to win the 2019 Great American Conference Women's Golf Championship, the league announced on Thursday through the preseason coaches poll.

The Golden Suns have won the previous four conference championships by an average of over 20 strokes per year. Tech posted a 17-shot victory at the 2018 GAC Women's Golf Championships in Hot Springs, Ark., with Peerada Piddon setting the tournament scoring and winning margin records as the individual champion.

Piddon, the unanimous GAC Player of the Year, finished the three-round tournament with two rounds under par, the only two sub-par rounds in the event. Arkansas Tech was the only GAC team to have three players finish in the top eight and all five finish in the top 20, as Pia Nunbhakdi tied for second and Holly Standing tied for eighth.

The 2018 Golden Suns followed the conference championship with an appearance in the Division II Central Region Championships for the sixth consecutive year. A team score of 294, the lowest third-round score of the 12-team tournament, allowed the Suns to move from fifth to third and advance to the NCAA Division II National Championships for the fourth time in five years.

The 2018-19 Golden Suns return five golfers from last year's roster, including Piddon, Nunbhakdi, Allie Weiner, Makenzie Douglas and Hanna Haltom. Piddon set the Arkansas Tech women's golf single-season scoring average record in 2017-18 with an average round of 74.58. She was named a Division II All-America Honorable Mention and All-Central Region First Team by the Women's Golf Coaches Association.

Nunbhakdi is a three-time All-GAC selection and a three-time All-GAC Tournament Team member, and she currently ranks third all-time in Arkansas Tech history in career scoring average. Weiner returns for her sophomore season after competing in 13 events and posting one top-10 finish. She and Douglas were both named WGCA All-American Scholars in 2018.

Five-time GAC Coach of the Year Amy Anderson also welcomes four newcomers to the team, including Cintia Balanos from the Canary Islands, Bhenyapa Buranasiri from Thailand, Jacqueline Klemm from Germany and Sydney Staton from Fort Smith, Ark.

The Golden Suns open the 2018-19 season on Sept. 4 with the two-day Central Region Preview hosted by Southwestern Oklahoma State at the Prairie Highlands Golf Club in Olathe, Kan.

 

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