Madi Chitwood, the former Van Buren standout won the 2019 National Collegiate Disc Golf Championship held in Georgia.
The former Van Buren standout went into the final round with leading 5-over par 72 on the second day of the event at the International Disc Golf Center’s “Steady” Ed Headrick Memorial course held during March 28-30.
After the second day, SAU finished one singles round and one doubles round with a nine-stroke lead, but Chitwood had just a two-stroke lead in the individuals.
“We had to stay focused and positive not to lose our lead over the next two doubles rounds,” said Chitwood. “I tried to just stay out of my head and play like I had the first round and hope for the best in singles. I was absolutely honored to win singles and have Southern Arkansas bring home the women’s championship.”
Chitwood finished at 5-over as she shot an even-par 31 on the final nine holes of the event. She bogeyed the first hole but finished one under on the final to even it out.
Southern Arkansas finished 15 strokes ahead of Liberty “A” team.
“We went into it definitely hoping to win the team title, but I was just striving to place better than fourth in individuals,” Chitwood said.
The national event is just Chitwood’s fifth tournament event on her PDGA player page. She began just playing with some of the guys on the team.
“There wasn’t a girls team at the time, so it was all for fun, but there were other girls who had boyfriends on the team who would sometimes play as well, and we always had a great time,” said Chitwood.
Once she expressed her desire to start a team, Ethan Bolick, who was the team’s president at the time, “wasted no time” to help her get the team started.
“Before we knew it, we had four teammates and made a plan to go to nationals,” Chitwood said. “The school was super open to the idea and happy to help and support us. They have a course on campus which is super helpful and makes practices convenient.”
Last season, the team finished runner up and Chitwood qualified as an All-American as she finished fourth overall.
Chitwood, a junior nursing major, ran cross country and track for Van Buren.