Griz golfers 14th at Hobble Creek Fall Classic

SPRINGVILLE, Utah — The Montana women’s golf team shot a second-round 324 Monday and Tuesday to finish 14th out of 16 schools at the shortened Hobble Creek Fall Classic. The Grizzlies opened with a 309 in Monday’s first round in their opening tournament of the fall.

Teams played their opening round and finished a majority of the second round on Monday, but nearly three hours of rain delays forced tournament organizers to ultimately stop play because of darkness.

Teams finished the final holes of round two Tuesday morning and briefly got started on round three before the rains returned. With the greens under water, the coaches voted to end play and make it a 36-hole tournament.

“The players were pretty solid the first 18, but with all the delays extending the second round, I think they got tired, both physically and mentally,” said first-year coach Matt Higgins.

“Some of the players said it was the longest day of golf they’ve ever had. It was pretty wearing. One thing they didn’t do was give up. I was proud of that.”

Montana did not place any individuals in the top 40. Freshman Sadie Crippen, who was tied for eighth through one round after firing a 2-over 73 in her collegiate debut, tied for 45th after posting an 81 in round two.

“Sadie was very impressive in her first round,” said Higgins. “She was hitting the ball straight and didn’t get into too much trouble. I think she was nervous, but she took those nerves and turned them into positive energy and used that to post a good score.”

Senior Hayley Bingham shot rounds of 79 and 78 to tie for 52nd. She was the only Griz player to break 80 for both rounds. Junior Amanda Kahn (76-84) tied for 69th, sophomore Hailey Hoagland, a Butte High grad, (81-81) placed 77th, and junior Alexa Schendelman (85-85) tied for 85th.

“It was the first tournament of the year, so we’re just not used to grinding out 36 holes in one day yet,” said Higgins. “But it’s something I’ve always seen in the past. It’s going to come easier as we get deeper into the season.”

Hawaii (293-290) won the tournament by eight strokes over New Mexico State (298-293). Cal Poly (293-305), Santa Clara (302-300) and Cal State Northridge (301-303) rounded out the top five.

Weber State (302-304) led the eight Big Sky Conference teams that were competing. The Wildcats finished sixth.

Hawaii’s Eimi Koga earned medalist honors after shooting rounds of 70 and 71 to finish at 1-under. Hawaii’s Raquel Ek (73-70) and Viviana Macias (72-71) of New Mexico State tied for second.

North Dakota’s Jenna Janu (72-73) was the top golfer from the Big Sky. She finished alone in fourth.

— Montana Sports Information 

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