This is the portion of the blog where, typically, I show up to recap the most recent Ole Miss Men’s Golf tournament and hype up our GOLF SON’S conquests to come. But today, dear reader, we are moving up to the Ladies tees, because events went down over the weekend at the SEC Women’s Golf Championship.
OUR GOLF DAUGHTERS entered the SEC Tournament at Greystone Golf and Country Club in Birmingham as the No. 35-ranked team in the country, but as, at best, an outside dark horse in a stacked conference field.
But, then some things happened.
Some BIG THINGS.
The Lady Rebs finished the stroke play portion of the event in 8th place, the last qualifying position for the final match play portion of the championship. Then they upset No. 1 seed Florida on the 19th hole of the final match. Then they finished off 5-seed Georgia in the semifinals, 3 matches to 2. And then they faced South Carolina in the finals.
And then the Lady Rebs went up 1 match to zero.
And then South Carolina evened it up.
And then Ole Miss fought back to take a 2-1 lead. Then the Gamecocks evened it again at 2-2, with the final match, featuring Ole Miss freshman Macy Somosky, left to decide the championship. And then Somosky was down one with three holes to play. And then Somosky drained an absolute bomb on the 18th green to extend the match.
.@OleMissWGolf's Macy Somoskey needed this putt to extend her match on the 18th green of the #SECWGolf Championship... Dead. Center.— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) April 21, 2019
Somoskey would go on to win her match and the programs first #SEC title pic.twitter.com/kkoZ2UpH8D
And then it went to 22 holes. And then it happened. For the first time in program history. A Rebel par against a Gamecock bogey on the 22nd hole and ALL HAIL OUR NEW SEC GOLF QUEENS THE OLE MISS LADY REBELS.
Okay, now let’s go back and relive this from the beginning, shall we?
To even get in to the match play event the Lady Rebels had to battle a stout field in stroke play for the first three days. The team was carried by Sophomore Julia Johnson who finished the three-day stroke play with a cumulative -2 score, placing her in a tie for second behind individual winner, Arkansas’ Maria Fassi. Johnson’s score was the second lowest 54-hole score in program history. Rebel Freshmen Ellen Hutchinson-Kay was the second highest positioned Rebel golfer with a three-day total of +5.
The team finished 8th overall, one stroke behind Mississippi State and four ahead of 9th place LSU. The reward for the finish was a quarterfinal match play pairing with the No. 12 and top-seeded Florida Gators.
The matches started off very much in the Rebs’ favor as Junior Kennedy Swann dispatched of her Florida counterpart 4-and-2 in the opening match. Florida stormed back with back to back match wins to take a 2-1 lead. It was then Julia Johnson again who stepped up for the good girls as she ran off a string of three straight hole wins down the stretch of her match to win two-up. The balance of the contest would come down to Macy Somoskey, the freshmen walk-on from Sanford, Fla.
The back-and-forth contest went the distance and into extra holes after Somoskey tied up the match on the 16th hole. On the first playoff hole Somosky was able to salvage a wayward drive into a bunker with a remarkable recovery shot to four-feet from the pin. A clinching putt later and the Rebs had pulled off a stunner, sending the top-ranked Gators home and heading into the semifinal round against Georgia.
The semis started off much like the previous round, as Kennedy Swann charted the first point for the Lady Rebs with a 3-and-1 victory over Gabriela Coelli of UGA. Georgia fought back as Jenny Bae of Georgia got an extended 21 hole match one-up victory over Ole Miss’ Ellen Hutchinson-Kay. Julia Johnson continued her excellent tournament run with a 5-and-3 blowout of Harmi Constantino. The final two deciding matched were carried over into Sunday due to darkness, but he next morning saw Georgia even things up at two matches a piece as Jo Hua Hung Hung of UGA took down Conner Beth Ball 2-and-1.
Again, it was all up to Freshmen Macy Somoskey to pull the team through to the Championship, and again Somoskey delivered. Somoskey, who at one point was up 4 in the match, saw her lead completely eliminated by the 17th hole. She was able to hold on and push the match to a 21st hole where an all-world sand save and a Georgia bogey gave her the win and the Rebs a trip to the tournament finals against South Carolina.
Amazingly, the final round played out much like the rounds before it. The Rebs took an early lead with Kennedy Swan winning again in the match play format two-up over South Carolina’s Emily Price. The Gamecocks followed up with a resounding 6-and-5 win by Ana Pelaez over Ellen Hutchinson-Kay to even things up. Julia Johnson continued her stellar play with a two-up win over Marion Veysseyre.
With the score 2-1 in the Rebs favor, it was up to Conner Beth Ball or Macy Somosky to bring the improbable win home for the team. Ball went down early but battled back to even her match by the 14th hole. The match was tied headed into 18 where South Carolina was able to card a par to an Ole Miss bogey and tie the contest two matches to two.
It would again, poetically, come down to walk-on freshmen Macy Somoskey. She had battled all weekend, willing her team to this point, and was justifiably given the opportunity to close it out for the Rebs. Down most of the match, Somosky climbed back into it, down only one after winning the 15th hole. It would come down to the 18th where Somosky had a winding 50-footer to win the hole and extend the match. Somosky, delivered with a program-making putt on 18 to push the match to extra holes.
Macy Somoski just became chancellor of Ole Miss. Gutting out 62 holes in 30 hours and going 3-0 in a championship is the kind of leader we need tbh. @OleMissWGolf— OneMan2Beat RCR (@OneMan2BeatRCR) April 21, 2019
The pair went back to the tee at 18. Somosky played the extra hole brilliantly, laying up safely after South Carolina’s Lois Kaye Go dumped her second shot into the water. A par on 18 gave Somosky yet another amazing match play win and the Lady Rebels their first SEC title in the program’s history.
Just an amazing win for the program, and an amazing feat for the truefFreshmen walk-on Somosky, who finished the match play portion with 62 holes played and THREE deciding points won for her team. The Rebs now move on to NCAA Regional play, to be announced on Wednesday.