Women Finish 5th at Golf Championships
News Release Date:
Sunday, April 25
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- With three first-year players leading the way, the Whitman College women's golf team wrapped up its best season in years by placing fifth in Sunday's final round of the Northwest Conference Championships at Heron Lakes Golf Course in Portland, Ore.
Shooting a team score of 349, Whitman finished fifth for the day, tournament and season.
In fourth place after Saturday's 18 holes, Whitman slipped a notch in Sunday's final round but held onto fifth for the tournament and in the season-ending standings.
Whitman had finished eighth or ninth at the end of the three previous seasons.
For the weekend, the Missionaries posted a 36-hole team score of 693, five shots in front of Pacific, which finished sixth in the tournament and for the season. Pacific had won four of the last six conference titles.
"We didn't play quite as well today, but we played well enough to stay ahead of Pacific for fifth place in the final standings," second-year Whitman coach Skip Molitor said.
"For the most part, we are a very young team, and the way we competed this weekend gives us a lot of positives on which to build for next year."
George Fox, which entered the weekend in first place, carded Sunday's low team score (321), but that wasn't enough for the Bruins to catch Whitworth, which shot 322 in the second round to with the tournament with a 654 total. George Fox was second at 657.
In the season-long standings, which includes scoring from the fall and spring classics, Whitworth and George finished in a first-place tie and share the conference title.
Because this weekend's tournament served as the tie-breaker, Whitworth gets the NWC's automatic berth in the NCAA Division III championships. George Fox hopes to get an at-large bid.
After lowering its team score from Saturday to Sunday by 17 strokes, Puget Sound finished third in the tournament at 673. Linfield was fourth at 684, nine shots in front of fifth-place Whitman.
Caitlin Holland, one of Whitman's three first-year players, led the way for the Missionaries on Sunday with an 82, four shots less than her Saturday score.
"It was very encouraging to see Caitlin finish strong," Molitor said. "She is a very good competitor."
Tate Head, who was one stroke off the lead after shooting 81 in the opening round, found herself scrambling to an 87 on Sunday.
"Tate wasn't hitting the ball as well today, but she did a great job of finding ways to keep her score down," Molitor said.
Both Holland and Head finished the tournament with 168 totals, tied for 11th and nine shots out of the first place.
After Whitworth's Emily Guthrie and Puget Sound's Sarah Bicker tied for first in the individual scoring, Guthrie beat Bicker on the first playoff hole to take medalist honors.
Sydney Conway, Whitman's third first-year player, shot 86 on Sunday, a three-shot improvement from her opening round.
"Sydney has struggled with some health issues the past few weeks, so it was great to see her play as well as she did this weekend," Molitor said.
"In terms of looking to the future, our three rookies shot six tournament rounds in the 80s this weekend," he added. "That is very encouraging."
Sophomore Allison Lodine, playing in her hometown, rounded out Whitman's team score (top four) on Sunday with a 94. That was four shot less than her Saturday round.
Junior Sydney Saito and senior Kelsi Evans, playing in their final tournament, shot Sunday rounds of 95 and 96, respectively. Evans finished with a tournament total of 184, four shots in front of Saito and eight strokes ahead of Lodine.
"This was Kelsi's best-ever 36-hole tournament score," Molitor said.
While only a junior, Saito will transfer to another school next year as part of Whitman's 3-2 engineering program, which allows students to finish their Whitman degree as well an engineering degree in five years.
"Both Sydney and Kelsi have been solid contributors," Molitor said. "We're going to miss both of them."
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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; firstname.lastname@example.org