(Editor’s note: University of Montana athletics release)
PALM DESERT, Calif. — The Montana women’s golf team shot a final-round 301 on Sunday to move up to fifth place out of 12 teams at the two-day, 54-hole Wyoming Cowgirl Desert Intercollegiate at the Classic Club in Palm Desert, Calif.
The Grizzlies’ 301 wasn’t just the best round of the day. It matched the best round of any team over the course of the tournament.
UTEP, which won the tournament by eight strokes over UC Riverside, shot consistent rounds of 305, 303 and 302. Montana opened with rounds of 324 and 308 on Saturday.
“I’m jacked about the way we played today. We’re a dangerous team when everyone is on the same page, and we’re heading in that direction,” said coach Kris Nord.
Senior Baylee Barckley (77-72-75) tied for fifth, finishing six strokes behind individual champion Jakeishya Le (71-76-71) of UC Riverside.
It was Barckley’s best tournament finish since tying for second at the Loyola Invitational in Flossmoor, Ill., last September.
“Baylee is hitting the ball really well and was in the hunt. If she had made some putts, she might have won the tournament,” said Nord.
The main reason for Montana’s big turnaround was the play of its three freshmen, Allison Sobol, Brooklyn Van Bebber and Kylie Esh, none of whom shot better than 83 in Saturday’s opening round.
But all were right there with Barckley on Sunday. Esh, who shot an 88 in Saturday’s second round, carded a 74, the fifth-best score of any golfer in the field on Sunday. Sobol and Van Bebber both shot 76.
“The freshmen really turned it around,” said Nord. “They managed their emotions and the course better today. Everybody settled down and kept any damage to a minimum.”
Teigan Avery (79-78-80) tied for 28th, Sobol tied for 36th, Van Bebber tied for 45th and Esh tied for 53rd.
Sophomore Faith D’Ortenzio competed as an individual and got better as the tournament progressed as well, coming in with scores of 84, 78 and 75. She tied for 28th.
Montana will close out its fall season in two weeks when the Grizzlies compete at the Pat Lesser-Harbottle Invitational in Lakewood, Wash.