Nebraska fifth-year senior Baete wins White Sands tourney

Kirsten Baete, a fifth-year senior at Nebraska, shot a final-round even-par 72 on Sunday to hang on for a wire-to-wire victory in the 2nd Annual White Sands Bahamas NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Invitational. The win, by one stroke over Emily Hawkins of Campbell University, was the first of Baete’s career.

Baete finished at 10-under 206 while Hawkins fired a final-round 7-under-par 65 to post 207 at the Ocean Club Golf Course at the Atlantis Resort. Mikayla Dubnik of Mercer was third at 211. She shot a final-round 4-under-par 68.

With three players finishing among the top 10, Campbell, an NCAA Regional qualifier earlier this year, won the team title, beating the Nebraska Cornhuskers by four strokes. Host school the University of Miami finished third.

“I want to say thanks to everybody at the course – the superintendent, the pro shop; the course was in absolutely incredible shape,” Baete said after posting her career-low score and fourth career top-10 finish. “It was beautiful and is hands down my new favorite course.”

Nebraska Coach Lisa Johnson said: “This is Kirstin’s first win, so we are extremely excited for her to get this [win] under her belt. She has worked so hard in her five years at Nebraska, and she is such a great athlete and such a coachable player that it is wonderful for her to get this win and represent the Huskers.”

Campbell posted a four-player total of 10-under 854 over 54 holes with Hawkins and Anna Nordfors leading the way. Nordfors, with a final-round 72, finished fourth individually with a 4-under 212 total. Tomita Arejola tied for 10th with a 3-under-par 69 on the final day and a 217 total while Patricia Garre Munoz added a 226 total.

“This has been very special and was the perfect week for us,” said Campbell Coach John Crooks. “This team did what was necessary and Emily Hawkins shot 65 today and that was pretty special. Each member of the team has shot under par before and helped Campbell this season.”

The final team scores were Campbell at 854, Nebraska at 858, Miami at 862, Mercer at 870, Florida International University (FIU) at 900, Northern Illinois at 905, Iowa with a 908 total.

The prestigious White Sands Bahamas NCAA Invitational, featuring some of the top collegiate golf teams in the United States, continues this week at the Ocean Club Golf Course with the men’s competition featuring 12 schools, including host University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Following two days of practice rounds on Wednesday, the 54-hole competition starts on Friday on the 7,159-yard Ocean Club course.

In addition to Arkansas Little Rock, other teams competing in the event include Bowling Green State University, East Tennessee State University, Florida Atlantic University (FAU), Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), Jacksonville University, Lamar University, Lipscomb University, the University of Michigan, the University of Mississippi, the University of San Francisco and the the University of South Florida.

The University of Houston won the inaugural event in 2019 with a four-man total of 833.

The trophy presentation for individual and team champions will be held on Sunday.

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