(Editor’s note: story by Montana Sports Information)
OGDEN, Utah — Montana senior Baylee Barckley was named the Big Sky Conference Golfer of the Week on Wednesday, the day after tying for ninth at the 18-team Pat Lesser Harbottle Invitational in Lakewood, Wash.
Barckley shot rounds of 74, 75 and 72 on Monday and Tuesday at the Tacoma Country and Golf Club for her second consecutive top-10 finish, the sixth of her career.
Barckley finished seven shots behind Houston Baptist’s Kaity Cummings and Washington’s Karen Miyamoto despite opening her tournament with a double-bogey and bogey through two holes.
She birdied three of the next seven holes and would post 13 for the tournament, one off the two leaders in that category.
“My focus with her is to just let the bad stuff go, because she’s good enough to go out and win tournaments,” said coach Kris Nord. “She always has the ability to go make birdies, so she can make up for a tough start or a couple tough holes.”
After carding a double-bogey on her very first hole, Barckley didn’t have anything worse than a bogey over the final 53 holes, which she played at 3-over.
“She’s typically a good putter, and she’s known as a really long hitter, which can hurt her sometimes. The good thing is she knows how to scramble,” said Nord. “She’s creative in getting out of trouble.”
Barckley finished the team’s four fall tournaments with a scoring average of 76.9, which dropped her career average to 78.0.
Beyond her own scoring, perhaps her most important work has been helping Nord, with an assist from junior Teigan Avery, bring three true freshmen along.
Kylie Esh, Allison Sobol and Brooklyn Van Bebber each played at Montana’s four fall tournaments, with Esh (79.0) and Sobol (79.1) posting the team’s second- and third-best scoring averages.
“She’s taken on the role of senior leader, which has been great,” said Nord. “She and Teigan have played the role of veterans, but Baylee has led the way both on and off the course, and that’s absolutely what we have to have.”
The award is the second of Barckley’s career. She was also named Big Sky Golfer of the Week last fall, after winning the Battle at Old Works in Anaconda.
Montana will not compete again until the Battle at the Rock in Riverside, Calif., in mid-February.