Alayna Perryman (copy)

FILE — Milligan College junior and CCHS alum Alyana Perryman tees off during an event in her sophomore season. Perryman

BRASELTON, Ga.—An at-large bid was plenty achievable, but No. 11 Milligan University eliminated the need for such a step by automatically qualifying for the NAIA Women’s Golf National Championship with a victory in the Appalachian Athletic Conference NAIA Direct Qualifier on Tuesday.

Cocke County golf alum Alayna Perryman won medalist honors with a 2-under par 71 on day two, winning the individual title by three strokes.

Milligan fired an impressive 305 on day two of the event to capture both the tournament title and the AAC regular season, which combines scores from both the fall and spring championships.

All five Buffs who competed finished in the top 15, with Jenny Simonsen (83-77), Michaela Lindahl (86-76) and Emma Brown (81-81) finishing ninth and 10th. Meryl Castle took 15th.

Perryman’s (77-71) scorching round of 71 to finish the tournament saw her within one stroke of the Milligan record of 70 set by Cassidy Gibson twice, last in 2017. Gibson’s pair of 70’s at Callaway Gardens also were 2 under par.

Milligan shot 322 on day one and held a nine-stroke lead over the rest of the field. Day two’s 305 came in 20 strokes ahead of the next closest competitor as Milligan won the direct qualifier by a whopping 29 strokes.

Up next, Milligan will head to the national championship, set for Tuesday-Friday, May 25-28, at Rose Creek Golf Course in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. This is the fourth time in the last five full seasons Milligan has qualified for the national championship.

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