Griz golfers finish strong, place sixth

Griz golfers finish strong, place sixth

SEDONA, Ariz. — The Montana golf team wrapped up the first tournament of its three-meet, spring-break road trip on Sunday by tying for sixth out of 18 teams at the Red Rocks Invitational at Oakcreek Country Club in Sedona, Ariz. (Results)

The Grizzlies, who opened the tournament with rounds of 313 and 323 on Saturday, carded a 308 on Sunday, with all four scorers in the 70s to move up from the ninth-place position they were holding after 36 holes.

Baylee Barckley, who didn’t break 80 in two rounds on Saturday, shot a 74 on Sunday. Teigan Avery shot a 77, Kari Opatz a 78 and Butte native Hailey Hoagland a 79.

Faith D’Ortenzio shot her best round of the tournament as well, coming in at 80 after carding rounds of 84 and 85 on Saturday.

“We played smarter today,” said Opatz. “We knew that everything near the greens was going to roll out, so we had to adjust and play that way.

“It was nice that we got all four of our scores in the 70s. If we can throw out an 80 every time, we’d take that. It definitely helps us as a team.”

Hoagland, who opened the tournament with a 3-under 69 on Saturday, tied for 13th. Barckley tied for 23rd, Opatz finished 31st.

College of Charleston won the tournament by six strokes over Portland State, which shot the meet’s only sub-300 round on Sunday when it came in at 299.

Day-one leader Northern Arizona drifted to fourth after shooting a 318 on Sunday. NAU had the individual winner in Sofia Anokhina. She finished five strokes clear of the rest of the field.

Montana will now drop down to the desert floor for its next two tournaments after playing in relatively cool weather at elevation in Sedona.

The Portland State/Eastern Washington Invitational will be played Tuesday through Thursday at Ocotillo Golf Club in Chandler.

“We’re going to be able to play in actual warm weather the rest of the trip. That should help us in the upcoming tournaments,” said Opatz.

Montana’s road trip will conclude at the Wyoming Cowgirl Classic next Monday and Tuesday. The 54-hole tournament will be played at the Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club in Maricopa.

— Montana Sports Information

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