Valentina Zuleta, Rocky women's golf claim third straight conference titles

Valentina Zuleta
Posted at 4:52 PM, May 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-01 18:57:17-04

VICTORIA, Texas — The Rocky Mountain College women's golf team, behind Valentina Zuleta's third individual league title, won its third consecutive conference championship Wednesday and punched a ticket to the NAIA national championship.

Rocky's golf team, now a member of the Red River Athletic Conference, held a 21-stroke lead entering the third and final round and shot a collective 306 on Wednesday, it's best round of the tournament, to win by 31 total strokes over second-place Houston-Victoria.

Zuleta finished 71-72-75 (218) to win the tournament by 11 strokes. The junior finished 20 strokes ahead of any other non-Rocky golfer in the field; she had 11 birdies and 31 pars across all three rounds.

Her finish marks her third consecutive individual conference championship in as many years as a Battlin’ Bear.

Rocky's Grace Metcalf emerged from the pack in the final two rounds to finish second overall, shooting 81-76-72 (229). Metcalf led all golfers with 34 pars. Kadence Fischer and Isabella Downing tied for 11th overall. Fischer finished 85-85-79 (249) and Downing shot 82-87-80 (249).  

Tyla Potgieter rounded out the Rocky competitors at 15th overall, finishing 87-87-80 (254).

In the team standings, Montana Tech placed fourth behind Samantha Benon's top-eight effort. Carroll placed fifth overall and Providence took sixth.

The NAIA Women’s Golf Championship begins May 14th in Silvis, Illinois. The tournament will be played at TPC Deere Run for the second consecutive year. The Rocky women had a standout performance a season ago, jumping to a 10th-place finish after being ranked outside of the top 25 entering the competition.

Rocky's men placed fourth overall in their team competition. Jared Smith finished third individually with a 72-73-71 (216). Montana Tech placed fifth overall while Carroll took eighth and Providence ninth.