EWU women’s golf finishes 8th in Big Sky Championships

By Brandon Cline, Staff Writer

The EWU women’s golf team shot a second round best of 298 in the Big Sky Conference Championships in Chandler, Arizona, but faltered on the final day to finish the three-round tournament in a tie for eighth place.

The Eagles found themselves in seventh place after the first round on April 19, shooting a score of 308 as a team. Junior Marissa Borja led the Eagles on day one with a score of 72 on the par-72 course and in a tie for third place out of 60 golfers. Hannah Kim and Brooklyn Kraakman also shot sub-80 scores for the Eagles, with Kim shooting a 76 and Kraakman a 79.

“I feel we played solid as a whole and have positioned ourselves within the pack,” said head coach Brenda Howe. “Marissa played outstanding. She was three-over after six holes and was a little frustrated, but fought until the end to shoot even par.”

Day two of the conference championships was one of historic proportions for the Eagles. The Eagles’ score of 298 was the lowest of the round and tied for the second lowest throughout all three rounds. The two-round score of 606 is the third-best in school history and the Eagles sat in fifth place through two days, eight strokes behind first place Southern Utah University.

No Eagle shot higher than a 76 in the round, whereas only two Eagles shot a 76 or lower in the first round. Borja and Kimberlie Miyamoto led the Eagles with a 74 apiece, Kim and Kraakman each shot a 75 and senior Taylor Crandall shot a 76. The Eagles also sunk 15 birdies on the day, giving them 25 through the first two rounds.

“The ladies played solid all day and were extremely consistent. The three, four and five scores are always critical when posting a low score and I feel like we finally were able to put it all together today,” said Howe.

EWU failed to keep the momentum rolling in the third round, posting a 326 on the final day. The score was the second-highest on the day, lower than only Idaho State University. The combined three-round score for the Eagles was 934, putting them in a tie for eighth place with Portland State University. Northern Arizona University captured its ninth Big Sky Conference Championship and Portland State’s A Ram Choi finished first individually with a score of 216.

All five Eagle golfers shot an 80 or higher in the final round. Other than bottom-dwellers Idaho State and the University of North Dakota, EWU was the only team to post a round where no golfer shot below an 80.

“We just struggled all around. I am encouraged by the fact that we had two solid rounds and put ourselves into position,” said Howe.

Borja’s score of 229 put her in a tie for 19th place, while Kim’s 231 was good for 23rd place. Miyamoto, Kraakman and Crandall all finished outside of the top 30 but inside the top 45 out of the 60 golfers. Other than Crandall, all four golfers are expected to return to the team next season.

“We were picked to finish 10th and came in knowing we were better than that. We’ve shown we are able to be competitive and it is important to take that away from this tournament,” said Howe.