(Editor's note: MSUB Athletics release)
DUPONT, Wash. – Kinsey Irvin matched her career-low single-round score on Tuesday at The Home Course, shooting a 76 to highlight the second round of the Saint Martin’s University Invitational for the Montana State University Billings women’s golf team.
Irvin’s stellar round featured a pair of birdies and nothing worse than a bogey, as she ascended the leaderboard to finish in 13th place among a field of 36 players at the event. “I got the speed of the greens down and had no three-putts today,” Irvin said. “Yesterday I had three three-putts, causing my score to be higher. I am happy with the way the team played and we met our goal of improving. I think we learned a lot with it being our first tournament of the season.”
The Yellowjackets finished in sixth place among the field of six teams competing, with a two-round total of 659. The team showed improvement between rounds, with a score of 326 on Tuesday to cut off seven strokes from Monday’s 333. “The women improved today and Kinsey shot a solid round today with no doubles,” MSUB head coach Adam Buie said. “There were a lot of positives to take away from our first trip. I am looking forward to seeing how the team progresses.”
Irvin hinted she was on her way to a strong performance, as she birdied her first hole of the day on the par-4, 344-yard first. She carded a 2-over-par 38 on the front nine and finished with another 38 on the back including a birdie on the par-4, 320-yard 17th. Irvin totaled four birdies in her two rounds of play on the par-72, 5,815-yard course, on her way to a career-low two-round score of 157 (81-76).
Tierney Messmer improved by two strokes between her two rounds of play, and finished in 27th place with a total of 166 (84-82). Messmer had two more birdies on Tuesday on her way to an 82, and finished with three total at the event. The senior put together her most promising stretch of holes to close out the tournament, shooting a 3-over-par 39 on the back-nine Tuesday including a birdie-par-par finish.
One stroke behind Messmer with a 167 (83-84) was freshman Meilyn Armstrong, who played consistently across her first collegiate event. Armstrong’s front-nine on Tuesday included her first two collegiate birdies, as she saved strokes on the par-3, 148-yard fourth hole and the par-4, 339-yard seventh hole. After shooting a 43 on the front, Armstrong improved by two strokes to close out with a 41 over her final nine holes. “I am happy with the way I played for my first college tournament,” said the Billings native. “I enjoyed learning about how college competition works, and I am excited to continue on with my career.”
MSUB’s biggest improvement between rounds came from senior Jalen Wagner, who cut off seven strokes after Monday’s 91 and shot an 84 Tuesday to finish with a 175. Wagner shot consistent scores of 42 on each set of nine holes on Tuesday, with five pars each on the front-nine and back-nine.
Brennan Larson closed the event with a two-round score of 177, following Monday’s 85 with a 92 her second time through the course. “The Home Course has some of the tougher greens we will see, and our goal was to have less than 10 three-putts as a team and we ended with only five,” Irvin said. “This is encouraging for our first tournament since April.”
Sarah Lawrence of Bellevue College maintained her Round 1 advantage and narrowly claimed medalist honors by a single stroke over Western Washington University’s Megan Billeter. Lawrence finished with a two-round score of 141 (67-74) while Billeter carded a 142 (68-74). The Vikings beat fellow Great Northwest Athletic Conference school Simon Fraser University by one stroke for the team title, as WWU shot a 616 (303-313) and SFU finished with a 617 (310-307).
THE BUZZ: Irvin was named the St. Vincent Healthcare Player of the Day…her other 76 came last spring at the GNAC Championships…her previous career low for a two-round score was 159, which she achieved on two occasions during her freshman year in 2018-19.
NEXT UP: The Yellowjackets are in action again next week, with the South Dakota Mines Hardrocker Invitational set for Sept. 20-21 at The Golf Club at Red Rock in Rapid City, S.D.
Saint Martin’s Invitational
Final Results – September 14, 2021
The Home Course – DuPont, Washington
Team – 1. Western Washington, 616 (303-313); 6. MSU Billings, 659 (333-326). Individuals – 1. Sarah Lawrence, Bellevue College, 141 (67-74); 13. Kinsey Irvin, MSUB, 157 (81-76); 27. Tierney Messmer, MSUB, 166 (84-82); 28. Meilyn Armstrong, MSUB, 167 (83-84); 31. Jalen Wagner, MSUB, 175 (91-84); 32. Brennan Larson, MSUB, 177 (85-92).