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Women's Golf: Emily Hughes comes back from five stroke deficit to win tournament

Emily Hughes was five strokes off the lead going into the final round of the Dolores Black Invitational. She needed a career-best round to win. 

Eighteen holes and seven birdies later, Hughes won the tournament with a 5-under-par second round, the only round under par by any golfer in the tournament.

It's the second straight year an Ohio golfer has won the individual title at the Dolores Black Invitational; the Bobcats, who finished third, were not able to duplicate the team title from last year.

Headed into the second round, the team title was out of Ohio's reach, but two of its golfers — Hughes and Nicole Smiley, who was three strokes off the lead — still had a shot at the individual title.

Ohio finished 45 over par for the two rounds, far back of the 24 over par by first-place Indianapolis.

Not only is this the career-low round for Hughes, but it's also her first tournament win as a Bobcat.

Smiley was not able to duplicate the success of Hughes, but no one else was, either. Smiley tied for sixth. 

Six fellow Mid-American Conference teams also were in the tournament, with Toledo the only one finishing above Ohio. Eastern Michigan, Bowling Green, Akron, Western Michigan and Central Michigan all finished worse than the Bobcats.

Ashley Flynn was not able to have the same consistency as Hughes or Smiley — she tied for 40th at 16 over par. Flynn shot a 5-over-par first round, the same as Hughes, but could not follow up with a better round, shooting 11 over par.

Lily Pendy's two worst rounds of the year — 10 over par and 12 over par — led to her tying for 70th. That's her worst finish this season.

Pendy had 17 pars for the tournament but did not have a single birdie. She had a stretch of nine bogeys in ten holes during the second round.

It was also a first round to forget for Marissa Balish, as she shot 17 over par. She made improvements in the second round to shoot 12 over par and finish 29 over par — good for a tie for 84th place — for the two-round tournament.

Chloe McKinzie competed as an individual and placed 87th in her second tournament of the year.

Ohio now has momentum as it prepares for the MAC Tournament on April 20-22 in Naperville, Illinois.


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