The Ole Miss women’s golf team made history on Easter Sunday in Birmingham, Alabama, beating Florida, Georgia and South Carolina in match play to win the program’s first ever SEC Championship at Greystone’s Legacy Course.
The Rebels came into the weekend ranked No. 35 in the nation with a second place finish at the Bruzzy in Argyle, Texas and fifth place finish at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic in Athens, Georgia.
Ole Miss started the tournament last Wednesday with stroke play. The squad finished fifth as a team with a 28-over 892 overall, just squeaking into the match play round with the last spot. Julia Johnson finished with a 1-over 73 in the final round to claim the runner-up individual honors, the highest of any Ole Miss golfer at the SEC Championship.
Ellen Hutchinson-Kay came in tied for 21st individually, Macy Somoskey finished tied for 57th and Kennedy Swann tied for 63rd.
“I was really proud of them for battling out there on the back. We had to step it up a little bit on the back towards the end,” head coach Kory Henkes said.
The Rebels moved on to the match play quarterfinals to face the top-seeded Florida Gators on Saturday. Ole Miss upset the No. 12 Gators for the second straight week behind freshman Macy Somoskey, who beat Marta Perez to clinch the quarterfinal for the Rebels. Kennedy Swann and Julia Johnson also won their matches.
The victory on Saturday morning put the Rebels in position for a semifinal matchup with No. 5 seed Georgia. Swann got the first victory for Ole Miss and Johnson got another match-play win. Somoskey once again finished the match up for the Rebels, beating Rinko Mitsunaga in 21 holes.
The Rebels would win the same way on Sunday against No. 2 seed South Carolina, with Swann and Johnson both coming out on top. Somoskey’s match came down to the wire once again as it took 22 holes to clinch the championship. Somoskey continued to deliver in the clutch with pinpoint approaches and long-range putts to extend the final and eventually win.
“I think this puts us on the map a little bit,” Henkes said after the victory. “I know we were the underdog coming in all week. We kept telling the girls to grind it out and stay patient, hit fairways and greens, make your pars. I’m so excited and so proud of this group. This is unbelievable.”
The NCAA Regionals selections will be announced on Wednesday. The regionals will start on May 6 and the NCAA Championship will take place at The Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Arkansas from May 17-22.