Eagle golf getting into the spring swing of things

By Josh Friesen, Sports Editor

By Josh Friesen
and Luke Jordan
for The Easterner
[email protected]

Do not tell Eagles golf coach Brenda Howe she deserves all the praise for her team’s spring season turnaround; after all, she says, the players are the ones firing the low scores.

“I wish I could take credit,” Howe said. “Golf is golf. There aren’t really X’s and O’s. Basically, they just work their butts off in the winter and continue to swing the club.”

The team has flexed their muscles lately, placing eighth out of 21 schools on March 2 and 3 in The Lumberjack at Ocotillo. In the Jackrabbit Invitational on March 11 and 12, they placed second out of 13 schools, shooting a 306 in the second round, their best score this year. Their total score of 932 is the fourth-best 54-hole score in the Big Sky so far this spring.

These scores are in stark contrast to the numbers the Eagles were putting up in the fall where their best outing was 10th out of 13 teams. They placed next to last in one other tournament and last in the other two. The Eagle women are beginning to click at just the right time.

Senior Jayme Carbon, who tied for seventh in the Jackrabbit Invitational, said that the progress the team has made can be contributed to the amount of practice being put in.

“We’ve done more short game this spring season for our practices,” Carbon said. “Everyone seems to be just peaking at the right time.”

According to Howe, the early spring-like weather has enabled the Eagles to practice outside on real courses rather than inside on putting greens and driving ranges.

“It’s kind of something new this year to travel early and shorten that winter to get us onto green grass,” Howe said.
This is Carbon’s fourth and final year at Eastern. Howe said that Carbon’s game has vastly improved since her time as a freshman.

“She was pretty new to the game as far as level of competitions or tournaments she’s played in,” Howe said. “Kudos to Jayme [Carbon] because she’s come a long way in four years, and so that’s been fun to watch.”

With the way freshman Marissa Borja has been playing so far this spring, it seems as though her freshman jitters have gone away. In her first college tournament, the Oregon State Invitational on Sep. 17 and 18, Borja tied for 74th place with scores of 79, 83 and81 in her three rounds.

In Borja’s most recent tournament, she shot a 75, 71 and 77, good for second place.

“[Borja] had one of our lowest scoring averages [in the fall], but definitely didn’t play to her potential,” Howe said. [Now], she’s a little more relaxed. She knows how to manage herself around a course rather than just going out and hitting and taking what she can get.”

“I feel like I’ve found my groove,” Borja said. “Now I feel like I’m confident with everything.”
According to Borja, she has narrowed down on specific aspects of her game in order to make herself a more consistent golfer.

“I think I’ve been really practicing and focusing on improving my short game [because] that’s where I feel is the most important when I play,” she said.

Borja said that the team’s goal is to do well in the Big Sky Tournament, which takes place April 21 to 23 at the Ocotillo Golf Resort in Chandler, Ariz. Fortunately, it is a course the women have seen twice already.

“Each time we play there it gives us another opportunity to prepare us for the conference [tournament],” Borja said.

Howe is excited for the opportunity to see the course again before the conference tournament. She thinks Borja and Carbon are on the verge of something special.

“The two of them I think if they can play to their potential the next few weeks, I think we could stand to do really well,” she said.