Whitman Women cling to second after soggy first round at Tri-Mountain

News Release Date:
Saturday, October 27

RIDGEFIELD, Wash. — Whitman College shot its highest 18-hole score of the season here Saturday during the first round of the Northwest Conference Fall Classic at the Tri-Mountain Golf Course.

Nevertheless, the Missionaries were right where they hoped to be, in second place in the eight-school field heading into today’s second and final round of the only fall tournament that will be counted when the conference championship is decided next spring.

Kelly Sweeney, So.

Whitman’s 350 team tally left the Missionaries a distant second behind George Fox, which boasted a 314 score and a 36-stroke advantage. More important in coach Skip Molitor’s eyes, his team was just seven shots in front of Linfield and Whitworth, who shared third place with matching 357 scores.

“Whitworth and Linfield are both within striking distance,” Molitor said. “It is important for our standing in the league to maintain our position in second place. So we need to bounce back and play to our potential.”

It will be another rain-drenched day, according to the forecast, and inclement weather can be partly blamed for higher than usual scores, Molitor suggested.

“Our high score was due in part to the most challenging weather conditions we have faced this year,” Molitor said. “And on a course that featured extremely severe pin placements. Sunday is going to be a good test for us.”

The steady rain and soggy conditions didn’t greatly distract George Fox University senior Kelsey Morrison, who fired a 3-over-par 75 that was good for a four-shot individual lead heading into Sunday’s second round. Bruins teammate Abby Mann was alone in second place with a 79, and two more George Fox players, Jammerman Whitney and Kiana Lumanlan, shot 80s and were tied with Whitworth’s Emily Guthrie for third place.

Katie Zajicek, Jr.

Pacific’s Emily Thorud shot 81 and was alone in sixth place. Then it was five more shots back to a trio of players tied for seventh at 86 that included Whitman’s Caitlin Holland and Kelly Sweeney.

“I was very pleased with Caitlin’s ability to rebound from a bad break at the start of her round and come back to lead us in scoring,” Molitor said of Holland, a senior from Edgewood, Wash.

Holland took a triple-bogey eight on her opening hole, a par-5, when she knocked her approach shot over the green and into a water hazard. After making bogey on her second hole, Holland righted the ship by playing the next 10 holes in 4-over-par.

Holland and Sweeney played identical rounds in that they each needed 32 putts over 18 holes and suffered but one three-putt each on the day.

Junior Katie Zajicek (Corvallis, Ore.) was next on the Whitman scorecard with an 88 and was tied for 12th place with Linfield’s Alexandria Smith.

Junior Catelyn Weber (Bellevue, Wash.) carded the Whits’ fourth and final counting score with a 90, good for a three-way tie for 14th place in the field of 38. And senior Tate Head (Bellingham, Wash.) shot a non-counting 91 and was in a three-way tie for 17th place.

“Katie’s 88 featured a team-leading three birdies,” Molitor said. “Unfortunately, they were offset by a quadruple-bogey seven on a par-3 hole when she blasted out of a sand trap and into a water hazard.

Molitor called Webber’s day “uncharacteristic off the tee” as she hit only five fairways on her way to a score of 90.

 Willamette was in fifth place in team scoring with a 365, followed by Pacific Lutheran 393, Pacific 401 and University of Puget Sound 440.