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Daytona, FL - The Blackbirds took flight on Sunday and didn’t stop until they reached the top.
LIU Brooklyn came from nine strokes down to thwart Fairleigh Dickinson’s bid for a fifth consecutive team title at the 2012 NEC Women’s Golf Championships.
With NEC Individual champion Cristina Felip at the controls, LIU Brooklyn’s ascension looked more like a rocket launch and less like a typical Aves take-off. Trailing team leader FDU by nine strokes heading into Sunday’s final round, the Blackbirds could ill afford to settle for little less.
As a team, LIU shot 10-over 298 in the final round while FDU carded a 25-over 313. The difference allowed the Blackbirds to claw their second-ever NEC Championship team title, and first since 2005.
Felip, a freshman, exuded the confidence of a veteran throughout the week. Her consistent performance yielded a three-round score of 215 that shattered the NEC 54-hole record and topped the rest of the field by 11 strokes. The previous meet record was held by FDU' Michele Holzwarth, who shot a 223 in 2009.
Felip’s victory extend LIU Brooklyn’s string of individual champions to three years in a row dating back to 2010 when current Blackbirds’ head coach Natalie Desjardins claimed the honor as a senior player.
The closest players to Felip in the final individual standings were a pair of Knights. Sophomore Esther Park, a 2011 all-NEC selection, and junior Annika Karlsson both shot 10-over for the tournament to tie for second place.
The Blackbirds wasted no time making up ground from the start on Sunday. LIU trimmed the nine-stroke deficit down to four over the first six holes. Three holes later, and FDU’s lead had whittled down to a single shot.