Skipton’s Lucy Eaton, pictured front left with her Florida tech team-mates
Skipton Golf Club is celebrating another headline achievement by one of our young members who progressed through the club’s highly acclaimed Junior Academy.
Lucy Eaton proved the inspiration in her American university’s ladies team that pulled off a spectacular victory in the NCAA finals in Florida last week, the top annual competition on the US collegiate golf circuit. Lucy, 23, who lives in Skipton and has just completed her fourth and final year of a university golf scholarship in the States, was a member of the Florida Tech team The Panthers, that pulled off an unbelievable finish to the season by winning the NCAA 2nd division.
Success was made all the sweeter, as team members had been shocked to learn earlier this year that the women’s golf programme at the university was to be scrapped after the Spring season. Lucy commented at the time: “We all just had our mouths open in shock. No one could say anything. We were just all heartbroken.” Later that day on the team’s group chat, Lucy wrote: “New target acquired. Let’s go win nationals.”
The Florida Tech team channelled their anger and frustration into the kind of storybook run that transcends sport, finishing fourth in the Sunshine State regionals in Cleveland – considered to be the most competitive in the US. Lucy had the lowest score in any round for any player at 4 under and finished seventh overall. In the stroke play qualification of the All America Finals she came third individually. The Panthers then advanced to the NCAA Championship staged at Palm Beach Gardens, before going on to land the Division II title on its last day of existence and for the first time in school history.
Lucy, who graduated a fortnight ago and extended her stay in the US while representing the university in the finals, went off in the lead match in the stroke play Matchplay final and found herself 6 down after 12 holes. She then rallied like there was no tomorrow to put the first point on the board for the Panthers with a birdie at the 18th. It was a result that clearly motivated the whole team, as they pulled off a fairytale victory.
Bill Jurgens, Florida Tech Head of Sport, said: “The team has become inspirational. Their story is truly amazing accomplishment and Lucy has the right attitude for greatness.”