WALLA WALLA, Wash. — Montana Tech golfers Sean Ramsbacher and Sami Benson sit atop their respective fields after the first day of the Walla Walla Invitational Monday at Wine Valley Golf Course.
Ramsbacher opened the day with a 71 on the par-72 course. He followed up with a 70 on the second round. His 3-under-par 141 is one stroke ahead of Bushnell’s Andrew Webb and Lewis-Clark’s Carlos Davila.
The Tech men fired a 293 to take the first-round lead. After a 299, Tech fell into a third-place tie with Multnomah University at 592.
Lewis-Clark State improved 16 shots for a 280 on the second round, and the Warriors lead the way at 576. Bushnell University is second at 591.
“Today was a great day for both our men and women,” Tech coach Sean Ryan said. “I know we left some shots out there on both sides but we’re starting to get a feel for our golf game and it’s making a big difference.
“Our men had a great first round and hung on for the second round during our first 36-hole day of golf this spring.”
Tech’s Isiah Weldon is tied for sixth at 147 after two rounds. He shot a 70 and a 77. Teammate Matt Hobbs is tied for 11th at 149, Jace Rhodes is tied for 24th at 155, and Jhett Braley sits in 29th at 160.
“Sean is playing at a really high level right now and putting it all together,” Ryan said. “Isaiah is really getting the most out of his game by playing smart and knowing when to be aggressive and when to play it safe.”
Benson opened with an 80, which is good for a four-way tie for first place while Brianna McNelly of Whitworth, Grace Wilbur of Columbia Bason and Kelly Dunn of Corban University.
Lewis-Clark State leads the women’s race at 330. Corban is second at 332, and Whitworth is third at 335. Tech sits in fourth at 343.
“Our women are right in the hunt after a solid first day,” Ryan said. “Sami played great to lead the team and is in a great spot heading into the final round. Her short game really is coming around and playing huge dividends. Emily, Cierra, and Kennedy all had really solid performances today, too.”
Emily Kelly hit an 86 for the Orediggers and is tied for 17th place. Cierra Sundheim added an 87 for Tech, while Kennedy Leah shot 90 and Franchi Ceartin hit 95.
The men and women wrap up the tournament with 18 holes on Tuesday.