MOC -- Valentina Urquiola
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 9, 2012 1:48 PM
PACE, Fla. -- The first-ever women's golfer in Mount Olive College program history to compete in NCAA tournament play, Valentina Urquiola concluded her career with a school-record performance.
Urquiola posted a program-best, 54-hole round of 231 and matched her own 18-hole record with a final-round 73 on the Stonebrook Golf Club links in the NCAA Division II South Super Regional. The Trojan senior finished 19th out of 48 golfers.
After Sunday's first round, Urquiola was tied for 42nd with an 84. She says she was unphased by the rough start.
"I knew I had two more days left and I just wanted to improve each day," said Urquiola, a senior from Santome, Venezuela. "Golf is a sport where you can be losing one day and winning the next day."
Urquiola carded a 74 in the second round to move into a tie for 30th place. Monday's momentum carried into Tuesday's final round.
Urquiola overcame a bogey-6 on the second hole with a birdie on the par-4 third hole. She followed with a par-4 on the fourth hole, where she recorded a bogey and triple bogey in the first two rounds. Urquiola had bogeys on seven and eight, but birdied the par-5 513-yard ninth for a 1-over-par 37 on the front nine.
Urquiola birdied the par-4 11th hole, but bogeyed the par-3 12th. She followed with three straight pars to bring her to 16, a par-4 hole that she bogeyed Monday and double bogeyed Sunday. Urquiola birdied the 360-yard hole Tuesday and finished the back nine with an even-par 36.
Her 73 matched the school record she set as a freshman at the J. Ralph Hargett Invitational March 31, 2009. Teammate Emelie Andersson tied the record February 2 at the Kiawah Island Intercollegiate in this season's first tournament.
Urquiola broke Lindsey Snyder's previous 54-hole record of 236 set April 20-22, 2006, at the (then) Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference Championship.
Urquiola says her attitude was a key to her dramatic improvement in the final two rounds.
"I had a good attitude the last two days and I think that totally helped me," said Urquiola. "I set a goal for each day and regardless of what I shot, if I accomplished that goal, I was going to be happy. I was just focusing on improving my score each day."
Urquiola added, "I was very happy with my finish and even though I didn't win, I am proud that I made it this far. It was a great tournament and there were a lot of good golfers."
Urquiola is looking to play professionally and will spend the summer preparing for the LPGA Tour Q-School (qualifying tournament) while working at the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy in Florida.
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