WSU Women’s Golf athletes participated in the Circling Raven Collegiate Invitational on Monday and Tuesday. Circling Raven was their first fall tournament on the road this season. After all three rounds, the team ended the tournament with a total of 965 .
“We were a little disappointed; we thought we would be a little better,” Head Coach Jeff Smith said. “We had one really good round and then two sub-par rounds.”
The team began the tournament in 20th place through the first round, but made some improvements in the second round to finish in 19th place. The first away tournament of the season could prove to be a motivator for the team to improve upon throughout the season and compete in the upcoming tournaments with a sense of determination.
Smith said that during the first tournament, WSU shot really well and it was one of the best games that they shot. Due to nerves, Smith said, the team did not perform as well in the second tournament.
“I think we got a little nervous,” Smith said. “Golf is a game of experience and once we get that experience, we will be less susceptible to the nerves that pop up.”
Washington State University led the tournament through all three rounds, winning the tournament with the University of San Francisco and Portland State University ending the tournament in second and third place respectively. The final round was a tie between the two universities, but used the scores from the fifth player on each team to determine the second and third place winners. The top performer of the tournament, Caitlin McCleary from Seattle University, ended the first two rounds both under-par and finished the tournament with an even par. She beat out Monica Jung of Southern Utah University, who took 2nd place in the top performers, by five strokes.
Although WSU ended the tournament in 19th place, they rallied back in the second round, improving their score by a total of eight
strokes and shooting a 315 compared to 323 they shot in the first round. Later in the third round, they shot a total of 327, making their first tournament of the season a learning experience.
“We played okay, under the hard conditions,” Jordan Ulibarri said. “The course was pretty hard because of the pin placement and the wind started kicking up a little bit, but that will make other tournaments a little easier.”
The Wildcats were led by Ulibarri, who shot a total of 236 in the three rounds to finish at 39th overall in the tournament.
“I played okay, I could have done a lot better,” Ulibarri said. “I will get better as the season moves on. This was a good first tournament of the season for all of us, not just me.”
Kelsey Chugg tied for 52nd with a 238, and Amanda Snyder shot 241 to tie for 72nd. Alli Cluff finished 106th at 253 and Sara Federico tied for 109th with a 257.
According to Ulibarri, the Wildcats didn’t finish the tournament the way they would have liked, but they are looking forward and hope to do much better.
“We play in Portland in a week or two, which is a little easier of a course, and we will get better as the season moves on and I’m really excited to be moving forward,” said Ulibarri.
The team will be tightening up some screws in the way they play for their upcoming tournament.
“We will really emphasize our wedges and our short game,” Smith said. “We will try to sharpen that up and it will really help us.”
The Women’s Golf Team will be in action again Sept. 26-27, when they will participate in the Rose City Collegiate Tournament held in Aurora, Ore.