Sports

ECU golfers, coach among 17 to come down with illness at NCAA women's regional

ECU junior golfer Carley Cox walks with coach Kevin Williams during a round at the 2018 NCAA Division I women's golf regional in Austin, Texas.
ECU junior golfer Carley Cox walks with coach Kevin Williams during a round at the 2018 NCAA Division I women's golf regional in Austin, Texas. ECU Media Relations

East Carolina golfers were among more than a dozen people to find an unconventional hazard during the NCAA women’s regional at the University of Texas Golf Club.

A mystery illness affecting players and coaches Monday took three of the five Pirate players out of Tuesday’s second round, the school reported, leaving the team with a “Did Not Finish” result to end the season.

Four complete rounds were required to produce a team score. Kathryn Carson and Carley Cox were the only ECU players able to compete Tuesday, according to ECU media services.

The source of the illness – widely reported as a virus that sent players and coaches to the hospital – remained unknown Thursday afternoon. But a Golfweek report suggested water coolers may have been the culprit. Tournament officials replaced the jugs with water bottles and increased access to hand sanitizer, the report said.

CBS Austin reported 17 people were affected by the virus, including ECU coach Kevin Williams, Michigan State assistant coach Caroline Powers and players from Baylor. Powers told Golfweek that she fainted in her hotel room and had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance. Colorado State Annie Young and an Arkansas player also become ill, according to Golfweek.

ECU’s first account of the illness said Cox would miss Tuesday’s round along with teammates Dorthea Forbrigd, Kate Law and Lisa Pettersson. Forbrigd and Pettersson returned for the final round on Wednesday, but Law again sat out, the school said.

The Pirates were tied for 12th (11 over par) after the opening round, needing a top-6 finish to advance to the national championships.

Arkansas cruised to win the regional at 26 under par, 11 strokes better than second-place Texas.

  Comments