Howey-In-The-Hills, Florida – McKenzie Ralston lost a little bit of her cushion but held on to the lead to move one day closer to becoming the first NCAA Division III Individual National Champion in University of Mary Hardin-Baylor athletic history. Ralston will take a three-stroke lead into Friday’s final round at the 2015 NCAA Division III Women’s Golf National Championships.
Ralston fired a third-round 79 on Thursday to push her three-day total to 74-71-79=224. She holds a three stroke advantage over Olivia Lugar (73-79-75=227) of Washington-St. Louis and Carolina Ordian (75-75-77=227) of University of Redlands. Ralston played her first birdie-free round of the tournament, finishing the day with five bogies and a double bogey. She was two over after her first nine holes and then went five over on her final nine. Ralston has a tournament best eight birdies through the first three rounds. Her three-day total of 227 is the lowest three-day total at the NCAA National Tournament in UMHB women’s golf history. It is one stroke better than her total of 228 at last year’s tournament and the 228 posted by Taylor O’Rear at the 2013 national championship.
The four-day, 72-hole event is being played on a par-72, 5,844-yard layout on the El Campeon Course at Mission Inn in Howey-In-The-Hills, Florida. Ralston will tee off for Friday’s final round with a 1:15 PM Eastern Time tee time as part of the final grouping to go off of the #10 tee. She is bidding to become the first NCAA Division Individual National Champion in school history and would join Denise Thiele as the only Individual National Champions in Cru women’s golf history. Thiele won the 2000 NAIA Individual National Champion. You can follow Ralston in the final round through live scoring with the link available at cruathletics.com and golfstat.com.