July 10, 2012
Griz golfers Tara Green and Lindsay Reeve both had top-three finishes recently at summer tournaments in Utah and Montana. Green tied for third at the Mary Lou Baker Open in late June, and Reeve tied for second at last week's Fourth of July Tournament at the Whitefish Lake Golf Club.
Green, who earned Big Sky Conference Freshman of the Year honors in her debut season with the Grizzlies last year, played to a third-place tie at the two-round Mary Lou Baker Open, which was held at the Davis Park Golf Course in Fruit Heights, Utah.
Green, of Harrisville, Utah, shot rounds of 72 and 69 on the par-71 course to finish the tournament at one under. She totaled nine birdies, 19 pars and eight bogeys and did her best work on the par 4s and 5s, which she played to seven under. She was six over on the par 3s.
Lea Garner, who will be a freshman at BYU in the fall, won the tournament at three under.
Green had a scoring average of 77.6 as a freshman and posted the team's low score at four of its 11 tournaments. She won Cal State Fullerton's tournament in February.
"As a freshman you're not always confident in your game. You're young and new to the collegiate environment," Montana coach Emily Milberger said. "But Tara had a great spring, and she's taking that into the summer.
"She's really maturing in her game and becoming more confident in herself and in her decision-making. She's feeling good about her game, and that's really exciting.
"I'm excited for her to get back into school and continue building on that momentum."
Reeve, a transfer from New Mexico State who will be a junior in the fall, finished tied for second last week at Whitefish at one of the state's biggest tournaments outside of the Montana State Golf Association's annual events.
Reeve, who opened with a 79, was five behind eventual champion Morgan Lee of Great Falls after last Thursday's first round. She trimmed Lee's lead to two with a 77 on Friday. Both golfers shot a final-round 78.
Reeve was the only golfer in the women's field to shoot three rounds in the 70s. Natalie Beard, who will be a junior in 2012-13 for the Grizzlies, finished seventh with rounds of 82, 83 and 81.
Reeve, of Redmond, Ore., is spending the summer at a family ranch in Ronan, Mont., and working and playing at the Mission Mountain Golf Course. She played two seasons at New Mexico State. She finished with a scoring average of 83.8 as a freshman for the Aggies and 83.4 as a sophomore.
"I helped Lindsay get in touch with a pro here in town, and she's been working with them every week and playing every day after she gets off work, so she's really been putting in a lot of time and effort," Milberger said.
"Her scores before she got here were in the 83s, but as highly recruited as she was in her original recruitment year, I knew she had talent. I think her confidence got beaten down for a few years, and now she's starting to come around. I think she is going to be a really good player for us."
Summer tournaments offer golfers something athletes in other collegiate sports don't enjoy: offseason competition that does not vary much from inseason tournaments. As Milberger says, if you're not playing over winter and summer break, you're falling behind.
"It really is a unique environment for the collegiate golfer," she said. "They can find tournaments to play in that allow them to keep competing and keep the momentum and rhythm going from the season.
"It's also a time when they can challenge and improve their own game by making a swing or equipment change. So there is never really a break, and as a coach that's an exciting thing. It shows you which of your players has that passion and drive to win."
A number of Montana golfers will play additional tournaments in July before returning to Missoula for the fall semester. The Grizzlies will open their fall schedule over Labor Day weekend at Montana State's tournament.
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