Knights, Nagindas take third at Corbett Invite
Having competed in several USGA qualifying events over the summer, Bhanisha Nagindas was able to witness firsthand some of the best amateur golfers from around the world while playing at the most demanding courses.
So when the Gannon University junior began play in what would result in a third-place finish at Gannon’s Michael Corbett Invitational at the 5,800-yard Upper Course at Peek n’ Peak Resort, all she could do was smile.
“I just kept smiling and tried to stay positive while thinking about the shot I wanted to hit.” said Nagindas who carded a two-day total of 7-over-par after firing rounds of 75 and 76 at the par-72 course Sunday and Monday.
Nagindas was able to find the fairway, navigate the undulating greens and contend with a pesky wind despite the course’s best efforts to unnerve 79 competitors from 12 teams.
“This was one of the hardest courses I saw in my three years of college golf,” said first-year Gannon coach Abby Sorensen, who competed at Allegheny College for the past three seasons. “The greens were very fast; I can’t tell you how many players from other teams three- or four-putted.”
As a team, Gannon’s collective 661 also placed third behind champion Findlay University, which shot 632, and Wheeling Jesuit University (640). It was the Knights’ second third-place finish in as many events this year, having taken third among nine teams at the Mercyhurst Invitational Sept. 9.
Other notable Gannon competitors included junior Amanda Teodorsson who fired rounds of 79 and 85 to tie for ninth place, and senior Rhiannon Ray, whose pair of 83s were good enough for a 14th-place tie.
“We were a little disappointed with our finish,” Sorensen said “For the most part, our ball-striking was solid and I liked what I saw on the greens, but if we could’ve just eliminated some of the blow-up holes, we’d have had a better chance to win.”
For Nagindas, only two shots separated her from the winning pace set by Findlay’s Lauren Vogt and Wheeling Jesuit’s Kasey Frazier. Frazier took the overall title by winning the tiebreaker on the first playoff hole. Vogt squandered a two-stroke lead over Frazier after she shot an even-par on Day One.
“It was really all about course management,” Nagindas said. “I knew that if I could drive it 230 consistently, I would be in good position on the long par 4s and 5s.”
Nagindas finished her rounds with a bang by birdying the difficult par-4 18th both days, as this week’s performance comes a week after leading Gannon with a fourth-place finish at the Mercyhurst.
The Knights will return to action this weekend at the Clarion Invitational, where they will meet up once again with perennial power Wheeling Jesuit, who bested Gannon by 21 strokes.
“Even though they beat us this time, it will again be a matter of eliminating the holes that we blow up on,” Sorensen said.
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