09/21/11 — Urquiola knocks out one preseason goal

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Urquiola knocks out one preseason goal

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 21, 2011 1:49 PM

Valentina Urquiola picked the perfect time to accomplish a preseason goal on a wet, humid Tuesday afternoon.

The Mount Olive College senior carded a two-day total of 150, and emerged the women's individual champion in the inaugural CenturyLink Collegiate Invite contested at Lane Tree Golf Club. It was Urquiola's second title of her career and first since her freshman season when she won a tournament at Sawgrass in her first-ever collegiate start.

Teammate Emelie Andersson finished second and helped the Trojans claim second overall behind No. 16-ranked UNC Pembroke in the team competition.

Barton junior Daniel Claytor, a returning All-American from Rocky Mount, secured the men's individual crown with a 36-hole score of 3-under 141. He helped the No. 11-ranked Bulldogs capture the team championship with a four-stroke victory -- 592-596 -- over NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas foe Belmont Abbey.

Urquiola and Andersson entered final round locked in a three-way, first-place tie with UNCP's Shauna Walor at 3-over par 75. Urquiola matched her round from Monday, which included a second straight double-bogey on No. 18.

Despite the rough finish, Urquiola seemed pleased with her effort.

"Number 18 got me both days," said the Venezuela native. "That says I need to practice more on my short game. (Winning a tournament) was one of my goals this semester and I said to myself 'this is the perfect time because it's our tournament and we're hosting it.

"I was just hoping for the best.'"

Andersson hit eight greens in her opening round, but Tuesday's wet conditions forced the junior from Sweden to change her club selection.

"The course was way longer today because the ball just stops and won't roll," said Andersson. "I was further away from the pin ... not as precise as hitting the target like I want to be with a shorter club."

Mount Olive turned in a four-player total of 653 -- 21 strokes behind the Braves. Stefany King and Sarah Baniszewski completed the Trojans' scoring with a 175 and 177, respectively.

Emy Ohling, Tegan Skirpstas and Carrie Cavanaugh also competed in the two-day event.

"The conditions today were pretty harsh, so I'm glad we did good as a team," said Urquiola.

Claytor started his round on No. 10 and struggled from start. He lipped out a putt on 11, hit into the hazard on 14, and bogeyed the 16th and 18th holes.

Mount Olive senior Kyle Ham and Belmont Abbey's Adam Hedges, who played in Claytor's group, applied a little pressure on the first-round leader once they arrived at No. 1. Ham, an Eastern Wayne alum, recorded three consecutive birdies, but followed that up with three straight bogeys.

"I had a chance after 12 holes, but didn't finish it out," said Ham.

Claytor made his move on the par-5 No. 7.

After a solid drive off the tee, Claytor walked up the fairway with one goal in mind -- make an eagle. His second shot landed 12 feet from the pin and he easily rolled in the putt for an eagle.

"I knew if I made a three, I had a chance to pull something off," said Claytor. "Adam had been playing solid all day. He was even par, I think, and birdied seven and had a great birdie on eight to put some pressure on me."

The two played steady over the final two holes and Claytor fashioned a two-stroke victory over Hedges. Ham dropped to fourth with a 147 after shooting an opening-round even-par 72.

Barton's Nicolas Fonseca took third with a 146.

"After I finished my round yesterday, I knew I had a really good shot at winning, but never really felt like the favorite coming in here," said Claytor, who has been bothered by back spasms. "Coach (John Hackney) said we needed to win our tournament since Cape Fear beat us last year. I wanted the team victory more. The 67 yesterday was added (to the mix)."

Mount Olive placed third in the 10-team field with a 606.

Kyle Simpson turned in a 148. David Shields and Fabrizio Ceppi tied for 26th overall with identical rounds of 157. Jefred Villalobos, Steven Aster and Dalton Gore also played for the Trojans.

"It was good to play here," said Ham of his home course. "I wish I would have done a little bit better, but that's OK. We're a young team ... did a good job."