EUGENE, Mo. - Park University shot 336 on the second day of the 2017 American Midwest Conference championship led by a pair of 81s - from senior Makenzie Shivers and junior Rachel Hoffman - catching Freed-Hardeman University to tie for third Tuesday (May 2) at Redfield Golf and Country Club in Eugene, Missouri.
"We talked about playing aggressive, and that we'd have to do that to catch anyone in front of us," said Park coach Steve Wilson. "I am proud of them. A 13-shot swing from yesterday is big, and while I know we wanted to play better golf this week, third place in this conference is a quality finish. Freed-Hardeman is a top 30 team, in my opinion, and we played with them. Both William Woods and Columbia deserve to play in the national tournament."
Hoffman's 81 was an eight-shot improvement from yesterday, while Shivers' 81, in her final tournament, resulted in the Pirates' best score over the two days for 164. Park also needed an 85 from Leeah Shipley, who shot 169 over two days, to catch the Lions. Genevieve Stelmacovich also added to the team score by shooting 89, a four-shot improvement over Monday's round.
Shivers finished seventh, for the championship, one of two in the top 10 with Shipley tied for 10th, while Hoffman ended tied for 12th in the two-day event.
"I can't tell you how sad I am that we lose a player like Makenzie - but not just as a golfer. She works tirelessly in the classroom and she's going to succeed in whatever she does. We will miss her," Wilson said. "The program moves in to a new era next year, and Tony Blake will keep things moving in the direction we have it, right now. I'm proud of these kids for the way they played today."
In 2016-17, the Pirates shattered a school record for scoring, at 336, 11 strokes in front of the previous record of 347 per round. Shivers also had a record-setting year, winning four times with a stroke average of 79.1, setting a new school record by 0.7 strokes over Plern Promboobpa's 79.8 in the 2010-11 season.
"Makenzie has a lot to be proud of in her four years here. She never missed a start, and next year's kids need to look at that as an example," Wilson said. "Tony has a tough task of filling the No. 1 spot, but I think he has challengers on this roster for it. We will have a very good team next year."
Additionally, at the end of the tournament, two Pirates were honored as all-conference student-athletes, as Shivers landed on the AMC's first team and Hoffman on the second team. A full feature on both will post Wednesday at www.parkathletics.com.