Champion! Centenary's Jessica Varner wins medalist honors at 2017 SCAC Women's Golf Championships

BLANCO, TX - Centenary College golfer Jessica Varner used a strong finish on the back nine to win the 2017 Southern Collegiate Women's Gold Championship by four strokes. The individual medalist honor is the first for a Centenary golfer since PGA Hall of Famer Hal Sutton won the individual Trans-Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament in both 1979 and 1980.

“Jessica is a special talent,” says head coach Emlyn Aubrey. “She continues to amaze me, from when I started the recruiting process with her in high school, to where she is now after her sophomore year. Her work ethic and mental toughness is incredible. I look forward to her future here at Centenary!”

Facing a deficit when making the turn after a front nine of 42 (+6), Varner turned in the best back-nine score (37, +1) of the day to win the championship by four strokes after two rounds at the 5955-yard, par-72 Vaaler Creek Golf Club in Blanco, Texas.

The 52nd-ranked women’s golfer in NCAA Division III, Varner finished the tournament with a two-day total of 154 (+10), four strokes ahead of runner-up and 50th-ranked Kaycee Bankert of Schreiner. Varner completed her tournament with the most holes with a score of par or better (24-of), including the most pars (20). Near the top of the leaderboard in both par-3 and par-5 scoring, she made her living on the par-4s. Varner finished +4 for the tournament on the par-4s, seven strokes better than her nearest competitor.

Trailing Bankert heading into the final eight holes, Varner made six pars and one birdie to offset a bogey and finish the back nine at +1.

Varner, playing among the first group to tee off on the day, finished her tournament one stroke better that Trinity’s Shelby DeVore and two ahead of Bankert, who both had four holes left to play. DeVore finished her round +6 on the final two holes, while Bankert double bogeyed 17 to clinch the title for Varner.

The NCAA will release the participants for the 2017 Division III Women’s Golf Championship on Monday, May 1, with the tournament to be contested at Bay Oakes Country Club in Houston, Texas, May 9-12.

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