Hoagland leads Grizzlies at Bobcat Spring Invite

Hoagland leads Grizzlies at Bobcat Spring Invite

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Hailey Hoagland, who closed last week’s Wyoming Cowgirl Classic with rounds of 72 and 73, carded scores of 75 and 76 Monday as the Montana golf team opened play at the Bobcat Spring Invitational. Results

Hoagland, a Butte High graduate, is tied for eighth, three strokes out of the top three. The Grizzlies shot team scores of 311 and 314, and are sitting in ninth place in the 17-team field at the Golf Club of Estrella.

Hoagland had three birdies in her opening round but double-bogeyed her final hole to finish with a 3-over 75. She opened her second round with another double bogey, then played her last 17 holes at 2-over to card a 76.

“She’s getting off the tee really well and striking the ball really well,” said first-year coach Matt Higgins. “Her ball-striking has just been great. And then she’s got some confidence. She’s really playing well.”

Baylee Barckley shot a 78 for both rounds and is tied for 31st.

Unlike the Cowgirl Classic, when Montana counted four scores in the 70s each round, the Grizzlies, who have played nine rounds in the Phoenix heat the last eight days, had to count an 81 in the first round, an 82 in the second.

“I think we may have lost a little bit of our focus today. One of the things we wanted to do was get off to a better start than we did last week, which we did, but we didn’t finish as well as we have been,” said Higgins. “I know they’ve been tired. I think that had a little bit to do with it.”

Alexa Schendelman (81-78) is tied for 48th, Hayley Bingham (77-86) is tied for 60th, and Amanda Kahn (83-82) is tied for 68th. Playing as an individual, Phoebe Tan opened with an 82, then shot a 3-over 75 in round two.

Seattle (291-309) and Wyoming (295-305) are tied for first, with Southern Utah (301-302) three strokes back. Eastern Washington (307-304), Northern Colorado (310-307) and Montana State (311-310) also are in front of Montana in the team standings.

Northern Colorado’s Kala Keltz, who shot back-to-back rounds of 71, leads the 98-golfer field. Southern Utah’s Taylor Viquelia, with rounds of 71 and 72, is the only other golfer under par through two rounds.

Montana will play 18 holes on Tuesday, the Grizzlies’ final round of competitive golf before next week’s Big Sky Conference championship at Boulder City, Nevada.

“Our goal for tomorrow is to start and finish, and stay focused throughout,” said Higgins. “I think it will be easier to maintain our focus since we only have 18 holes.”

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