Florida Tech’s Guro Rambjoer Qualifies For NCAA National Championship Tournament

By  //  May 6, 2015

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Florida Tech will send an individual to the NCAA Division II National Championship Tournament for the second straight year after Guro Rambjoer placed sixth at the Super Region Two Championship on Tuesday. (FIT Image)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Florida Tech will send an individual to the NCAA Division II National Championship Tournament for the second straight year after Guro Rambjoer placed sixth at the Super Region Two Championship on Tuesday.

A freshman from Oslo, Norway, she shot a 76 in round three to finish at four-over for the tournament.

As a team, the Panthers came within one shot of tying Nova Southeastern for the final spot in the national championship tournament from the super region. They carded an 18-over-par 306 on the day to finish at 46-over.

Nova Southeastern, which was tied for sixth entering the day, shot a 13-over-par 301 to leap FIT.

The Sharks along with super region champion Rollins and runner-up Lynn will move on to the national championship, scheduled for May 13-16 in Allendale, Michigan.

Rambjoer will be joined by Limestone’s Brittany LaPadula and Barry’s Nicole Ferre as individual representatives from the super region. Ferre putt in for par on a one-hole playoff against Saint Leo’s Clare Connolly to earn the final invitation.

Chris Saltmarsh

Chris Saltmarsh

“We knew from the start of the final round that we were close and everyone had a chance,” head coach Chris Saltmarsh said.

“Our biggest thing was to keep moving forward and marching forward no matter how good or bad it was because anything can happen in a span of 18 holes. We wanted to see how the chips fell and in the end, we gave ourselves a chance.”

The Panthers gave themselves a chance indeed. They were fighting for third place throughout the round, but a few tough breaks down the stretch proved to be too difficult to overcome.

Rambjoer was in the last pairing of the day. She birdied the fifth hole, but fell victim to three straight bogeys on six, seven and eight. She remained composed on the back nine, paring seven of the final nine holes and bogeying two.

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However, she drained a putt for par on the 18th hole that the team thought would result in a sudden death playoff based on the live scoring.

About 10 minutes after Rambjoer was informed about a playoff, she was told that her official score qualified for the national championships.

Guro Rambjoer

Guro Rambjoer

“I was just so relieved,” she said after being informed her score was good enough for qualification.

“I was so nervous, I was shaking. I was shaking for 18 holes. Making that last putt was unbelievable. When (Coach) told me I was in a playoff, I tried to gather myself to go out there and hit a few more good shots. Then Coach told me I didn’t have to do that because I was already in. It was an amazing feeling, really good.”

Although she is excited to represent Florida Tech as an individual, her only wish is that her entire team could join her.

“Obviously, I’m really excited that I’m going, but it’s kind of a weird feeling because I want to be going with the team,” Rambjoer said.

“I actually thought we had it for quite some time today. Losing by one shot is tough. I wish I could go with my whole team that would be amazing.”

Needless to say, Saltmarsh is proud of the sophomore.

“I’m super proud of her,” he said.

“I pushed her hard last week with exams coming up. As an engineering major, she wants to do her best in that and she wants to do her best in golf. I individually spent three days with her during practice. The things she took out of that made a big difference in her qualifying. I’m beyond proud to go to the national championship with her.”

Johanna Larsson recorded the Panthers’ second-best finish, tying for 12th following a four-over 76. She finished nine-over for the tournament. Felicia Leftinger jotted down a two-over 74 for round three and tied for 19th at 11-over. Sarah Thomas replicated her 80 from Tuesday to place 39th at 22-over.

Rachel Polson, the lone senior in the lineup, tied for 44th at 27-over.

As a team, the Panthers came within one shot of tying Nova Southeastern for the final spot in the national championship tournament from the super region. They carded an 18-over-par 306 on the day to finish at 46-over. (FIT Image)

As a team, the Panthers came within one shot of tying Nova Southeastern for the final spot in the national championship tournament from the super region. They carded an 18-over-par 306 on the day to finish at 46-over. (FIT Image)

Rollins, which won the tournament at nine-over, was led by Annie Dulman’s one-over 217. Dulman’s score tied Nova Southeastern’s Mailen Domecq Chantry for the individual championship. LaPadula of Limestone was third followed by Rollins’ Lexie Toth and Lynn’s Jessica Bradley, who both tied for fourth.

Looking ahead to next season, Saltmarsh believes the Panthers will continue to be a contender.

“We have great players coming back,” Saltmarsh said.

“It’s always tough to fill the shoes of Rachel and certainly Johanna, whose transferring out. Those are going to be big shoes to fill. I think we have a good recruiting class that’s going to come in and maintain where we’re at, if not be better.”

There are always positives to take away from this experience. They get to know what it’s like and as a coach, when you’re preaching on certain things it starts to sink in and it makes for a better year,” said Saltmarsh.


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