PULLMAN, Wash. — The Montana women’s golf team shot rounds of 316 and 311 Monday, leaving the Grizzlies in 11th place out of 12 teams at the Washington State Cougar Cup at Palouse Ridge Golf Course.
A day that started windy turned ideal, and most team scores reflected it. Nine of the 12 teams shot second-round scores of 300 or better, which leaves Montana a full eight strokes out of the top 10.
“I thought we struggled in both rounds today,” said first-year coach Matt Higgins. “It was a rough day, but I have confidence in these girls. They just need to believe in themselves.”
Sophomore Hailey Hoagland, a Butte High graduate, shot rounds of 77 and even-par 72, matching the career-best score she shot in the second round of last year’s Cougar Cup. She is tied for 17th at 5-over and is the only Montana golfer in the top 40.
The Grizzlies would be in better position had the team’s qualifying rounds in Missoula last week turned out differently. Two of the team’s top four scorers Monday are competing as individuals and not eligible to count in the team scoring.
Freshman Baylee Barckley, competing in her first collegiate tournament, shot rounds of 77 and 79 and is tied for 46th. And senior Phoebe Tan shook off a first-round 85 and matched Hoagland with an even-par 72 in the afternoon round. Tan’s previous best collegiate round was a 75 she shot as a freshman.
Had Montana been able to trade out scores, the Grizzlies would have shot a 301 in round two.
“I was happy with the improvements Hailey and Phoebe made from their first round to their second round. Both hit the ball well and putted well. They did what you need to do to score,” said Higgins.
“And I thought Baylee played pretty solid in her first college tournament. I was really impressed with those three.”
Hoagland’s round of 72 started at the 6th and opened with 10 straight pars. She bogeyed the 138-yard, par-3 16th but got the shot back with a birdie on the 369-yard, par-4 2nd. She closed with three straight pars.
Tan had four birdies and four bogeys for her 72. She could have carded a 1-under 71 had she not bogeyed her final hole of the round, the 179-yard, par-3 13th.
Freshman Sadie Crippen, who shot rounds of 77 and 80, is tied with Tan in 48th place; junior Amanda Kahn, with rounds of 82 and 78, is tied for 56th.
Senior Hayley Bingham (80-85) and junior Alexa Schendelman (84-81) both carded a pair of rounds in the 80s and are tied for 69th in the 72-player field.
Washington State (295-286) leads the tournament by five strokes over Fresno State (300-286) and six over Idaho (297-290). Sacramento State (300-290) is nine shots back.
WSU’s Cherokee Kim (69-69), at 6-under, is one of five players under par. Cal State Fullerton’s Martina Edberg (74-65) shot a second-round 65 to finish the day one shot off the lead.
“We need to do the small things that will help us do better and basically learn from what we did today and try to put it in play tomorrow,” said Higgins. “If we can go shot-by-shot rather than focus on the outcome, tomorrow will be a better day.”
The tournament’s final round will start at 9 a.m. (MT) on Tuesday.
— Montana Sports Information