Griz finish ninth at Cougar Cup
Sept. 24, 2013
The Montana women's golf team shot a final-round 319 on Tuesday and finished ninth out of 12 teams at the sixth annual Washington State Cougar Cup, which was held at the Palouse Ridge Golf Course in Pullman.
Freshman Bara Bakova continued her strong early-season play, shooting a closing-round 79 to finish in a tie for 14th.
Bakova was the only Griz golfer to shoot three rounds in the 70s and the only player to finish in the top 35. Montana's five scoring players posted more scores in the 80s (8) than the 70s (7) over the three rounds.
"We're disappointed with our performance," said first-year coach Joni Stephens, whose team shot rounds of 290, 294 and 294 in winning the Grizzly Invitational two weeks ago. "This isn't where we should be or where we want to be.
"We went from playing our home course in perfect weather to a more challenging course in windy, cold conditions, and we didn't handle those challenges the way I would like to see."
Through two collegiate tournaments, Bakova (76-75-79--230), who tied for second at the Grizzly Invitational, has yet to shoot a round in the 80s. Her 39 pars over 54 holes Monday and Tuesday were second among the 77 golfers at the Cougar Cup only to Idaho's Cassie McKinley, who totaled 40.
"Bara hit every fairway and almost every green (in regulation) today, but she didn't putt as well as she did in her first two rounds. That was the reason for her higher score, but it was another strong showing for Bara," Stephens said.
Senior Lindsay Reeve (84-79-76--239), who posted back-to-back birdies on Nos. 16 and 17 in what was her front nine, shot a 76 on Tuesday, the team's best score of the day and the Grizzlies' only other sub-80 score for the final round. Her strong finish allowed Reeve to move up to a tie for 40th at 23-over.
Junior Tara Green (80-78-80--238), winner of the Grizzly Invitational, shot her second round of 80 at the tournament on Tuesday and finished in a tie for 37th at 22-over.
"For some of our players this was their first time on this course and their first time on this type of course," Stephens said. "When you add in the windy conditions, it caused some uncertainties, and that affected our scores. It was a reality check."
Freshman Amanda Kahn (78-83-84--245), competing as an individual, tied for 53rd. Sophomore Hayley Bingham (87-77-wd), also playing as an individual, had to withdraw prior to Tuesday's round because of an injury.
Montana (323-311-319--953) placed third out of the five Big Sky Conference teams competing.
Portland State (302-315-310--927) finished sixth, 26 shots up on the Grizzlies, while Sacramento State (305-323-312--940) placed seventh.
Montana finished ahead of both Eastern Washington (334-318-319--971), which finished 10th, and 12th-place Montana State (320-329-334--983).
Washington State's Mallory Kent (70-70-72--212), the leader after day one, played her three rounds at 4-under to finish seven strokes clear of the field. BYU's Lea Garner (74-71-74--219) and Gonzaga's Alice Kim (71-74-74--219) tied for second at 3-over.
Washington State (297-291-298--886) held a six-stroke lead on Gonzaga entering Tuesday's round and extended it to 12 by the end of the day with a final-round 298. The Cougars were the only team to break 300 in the final round. WSU produced three of the tournament's six sub-300 rounds.
Gonzaga (304-290-304--898) finished second, Idaho (309-303-302) came in third.
Montana will face a short week leading up to its next tournament. The Grizzlies will travel next weekend to Aurora, Ore., for Portland State's fourth annual Rose City Collegiate. The tournament will be played Monday and Tuesday at the Langdon Farms Golf Club.
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