Griz golfers place 13th at Wyoming Cowgirl Classic

MARICOPA, Ariz. — The Montana women’s golf team, which opened with scores of 306 and 307 on Thursday, fired a 308 on Friday to finish the Wyoming Cowgirl Classic, played at the Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club in 13th place in the 18-team field. Results

Kari Opatz (76-72-73–221) shot a 1-over 73 on Friday to finish in a tie for 10th at 5-over. She birdied her first two holes of the day and had six birdies for the round.

Butte High graduate Hailey Hoagland (76-78-74–228) shot a 2-over 74 on Friday, her best round of the tournament and best round since carding a 73 on the final day of the Battle at the Rock in mid-February.

She had three birdies on Friday and tied for 38th at 12-over.

“Those two hit the ball really well today,” said coach Matt Higgins. “They were striking and putting the ball well, and put themselves in position to go low.”

Alexa Schendelman (76-74-79–229) closed with a 79 to finish in a tie for 41st. Baylee Barckley (78-84-82–244) and Amanda Kahn (85-83-85–253) both shot in the 80s on Friday.

“We’re close. We’re getting one or two low scores, but we still need that third and fourth score. It comes down to our short game and making more putts,” said Higgins.

UC Irvine (296-290-288–874) won the tournament by six strokes over Sacramento State (291-297-292–880), which finished second by a stroke to Idaho at last year’s Big Sky Conference championship.

This year’s conference meet will open in two weeks at Boulder City, Nevada.

“We’ll have to break the 300 barrier,” said Higgins, whose team has done that just once in 27 rounds going back to the fall tournament schedule. “That’s what it will take for us to contend at conference.”

Nevada’s Kaitlin Collom (73-71-69–213) and Sacramento State’s Julia Becker (69-73-71–213) tied for the individual lead at 3-under. Collom earned medalist honors by tiebreaker.

UC Irvine’s Janet Yeo (75-68-71–214), at 2-under, also finished the tournament under par.

The Big Sky championship will be held at Boulder Creek Golf Course, with 18 holes on Friday through Sunday, April 21-23.

— Montana Sports Information