Whitman Women hold on for second place at Fall Classic
News Release Date:
Sunday, October 28
RIDGEFIELD, Wash. — The Whitman College women’s golf team did what it had to do — and what coach Skip Molitor expected it to do — here Sunday at the Tri-Mountain Golf Course.
The Missionaries hung on to second place in the Northwest Conference Fall Classic that concluded the fall portion of Whitman’s schedule.
“The second-place finish keeps us within reach of George Fox and the league’s automatic berth to the national tournament,” Molitor said.
The weekend tournament was the only event on the fall schedule that counts toward the Northwest Conference championship that will be determined in the spring. The Spring Classic and the Northwest Conference Championships are the other two counters.
Whitman won the conference championship last spring and made its first appearance in the NCAA Division III national tourney. But the Missionaries have their hands full against talented George Fox.
The Missionaries put together rounds of 350 and 331 for a 681 score that was 53 shots behind the leading Bruins. Whitman finished 11 shots in front of third-place Whitworth, which trailed Whitman by seven strokes going into Sunday’s round.
Willamette finished fourth at 704, followed by Linfield 705, Pacific Lutheran 742, Pacific 793 and Puget Sound 855. Linfield was also just seven shots behind the Missionaries going into Sunday’s play.
“With solid rounds by Whitworth and Willamette Sunday, along with the outstanding two-day effort put forth by George Fox, it is apparent how important it is that we commit ourselves to continuing to improve,” Molitor said.
Whitman struggled in inclement weather conditions Saturday and shot a 350 team score, but the Whits improved to 331 Sunday as the weather improved. Still, Molitor expressed concern.
“This tournament was clearly not a case of us hitting on all cylinders,” he said. “We had two good (individual) rounds Sunday, but we have an experienced and talented group that is capable of making things much more interesting in the spring.”
Sophomore Kelly Sweeney (Enumclaw, Wash.) and junior Catelyn Webber (Bellevue, Wash.) led the Whits’ Sunday effort with rounds of 77 and 78, respectively.
Sweeney’s 77 was a nine-shot improvement over her first-round score as she placed fifth in the field of 38 women with a 163 total. And Webber’s 78 was 12 shots better than her Saturday score and she wound up in eighth place at 168.
“Sweeney had an outstanding day of ball striking,” Molitor said. “She hit 13 of 14 fairways and 10 greens in regulation. And Webber hit 11 of 18 greens in regulation.”
Senior Caitlin Holland (Edgewood, Wash.) and junior Katie Zajicek (Corvallis, Ore.) turned in Whitman’s two other counting scores. Holland shot 89 Sunday and Zajicek turned in an 87 that left them tied for 14th place at 175.
Senior Tate Head (Bellingham, Wash.) turned in a 92 Sunday for a 183 score that was good for a share of 22nd
Kelsey Morrison, as expected, was the tournament medalist. After a first-round 75, the Bruins star shot a 1-over-par 73 Sunday for a 148 score that was good for a five-shot victory over Whitworth’s Emily Guthrie.
Guthrie, who opened with an 80, equaled Morrison’s second-round 73 for a 153 score that was eight shots in front of Kiana Lumanlan and Abby Mann of George Fox, who tied for third place. Lumanlan shot a second-round 81 and Mann shot 82.