USF Senior Writer
Christina Miller inched herself closer and closer with each swing at the Golfweek Program Challenge.
One of the newest Bulls on the USF women's golf team was in 13th place after round one and moved all the way up to a tie for second after Monday's second round.
"I knew that it was going to take a low round today to have a chance," Miller said Tuesday.
Miller fired a 5-under 66 to capture the event's individual title, while the Bulls moved up one spot to fifth place in their season opener.
Miller, a sophomore, was playing in her first event as a Bull since transferring from Ole Miss and finished the three rounds at 3 under, two shots better than James Madison's Nicole Sakamoto.
"After birdying the first two holes, I spent the next 16 trying to stay calm and let the birdies come," she said. "I am very happy to get the first win of the season and so thankful for have such great teammates and coaches."
Head coach Marci Kornegay could see Miller was mentally prepared to chase after the title at the start of Tuesday's play.
"I could tell she came out confident and ready to play after her fist-pump birdie putt on No. 1," Kornegay said.
Miller posted six birdies and only one bogey in the round, but Kornegay was most impressed with her composure down the final stretch.
"She kept her nerves in check and kept her focus on breathing and staying in the present," the coach said.
Brie Heinzler, also a transfer, was the next-best Bull with an 11-over finish that put her into a tie for 18th place. The junior's 72 on Tuesday was her lowest score of the tournament.
"Brie had a great finish to her first tournament as a Bull," Kornegay said.
Junior Shena Yang moved up five spots to finish in a tie for 29th place by shooting a 75 on the final day at the par-71 course in Pawley's Island, S.C.
USF, which fielded a new-look lineup, moved up one spot from Monday and ended up 20 strokes behind event winner East Carolina.
The Bulls' next tournament is the Nittany Lion Invitational Sept. 30-Oct. 2 in State College, Pa.
Check out this link to read about Miller's "Five Questions" with Golfweek.