(MSUB Athletics release)
BILLINGS – Leading the field after Day 1 action of the Yellowjacket Spring Invitational, the Montana State University Billings women’s golf team jumped to the top of the leaderboard on Monday at Lake Hills Golf Club.
The Yellowjackets shot a team score of 315 on the par-72, 6,119-yard course layout, and are in front among the field of four teams competing.
“It was awesome to be outside golfing in the sun, and I thought our ball striking was overall very good,” commented MSUB head coach Kevin Woodin. “We struggled a little bit on lag putting, and around the greens as a team, and I hope to see that improve tomorrow.”
Sarah Schroefel leads all players after Monday’s round, as she carded a 5-over-par 77 for the top overall score. The junior had a pair of birdies, both of which came on the front-nine where she carded a 1-under-par 35. Schroefel had her first birdie of the day on the par-5, 464-yard second hole, and followed three holes later with a birdie on the par-4, 264-yard fifth hole.
“Sarah had a very nice round, especially on the front-nine,” said Woodin.
Senior Sammy Walter was the other player among the entire field to break 80 on Monday, as she stands in second place after a score of 78 her first time through the course. Walter led the team with three birdies on the day, after starting her round with a par on the par-3, 147-yard 11th hole. Walter’s first birdie came on the par-4, 379-yard 15th hole, and after turning to the front-nine she further improved her score. Closing her round with a bang, Walter made birdie on both the par-4, 379-yard sixth hole and the par-5, 481-yard ninth hole to shoot an even-par 36 on the front.
“Like Sarah, Sammy was very consistent today and lowered her score with a really solid front-nine,” commented Woodin.
Senior Bailee Dexter and junior Shealyn Hafer are in a four-way tie for third place, after each shooting an 80 on Monday. Dexter’s bright spot Monday came at the end of her round, as she notched a birdie on her final hole of the day, the par-5, 481-yard ninth. Hafer had a pair of birdies, including the par-4, 379-yard 15th hole and the par-4, 264-yard fifth.
“Bailee and Shealyn held it together despite not having their best efforts today,” said Woodin. “I look for each of them to improve tomorrow.”
Renae Heisler completed the team group of five Yellowjackets, as the freshman shot an 83 and is in a tie for seventh place. Heisler had the team’s lone eagle of the day, as she chipped in on the par-4, 379-yard 15th hole to save a pair of strokes.
Competing as individuals for MSUB were freshmen Sydney Rochford and Kylee Knobloch. Rochford had her best round of the year so far, checking in with an 84 to break into the top-10. In her first round of the season competing with the team, Knobloch turned in a score of 95. “I was really happy that Sydney registered an 84, and it was good to see her play well today,” said Woodin.
Also competing in the tournament are Dickinson State University, Montana Tech, and University of Jamestown.
“The women did a good job of keeping the ball in play, and avoiding big scores,” said Woodin. “I hope we improve as a team tomorrow.”
THE BUZZ: Schroefel was picked as the St. Vincent Healthcare Player of the Day…it is tied for her lowest single-round score of the year…the 315 was the team’s third-lowest score of the 2017-18 season.
COMING UP: The two-round event concludes Tuesday, with a 9 a.m. tee time. It is the Yellowjackets’ final event before the 2018 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championships, running April 23-24 at Coeur d’Alene Resort.
Yellowjacket Spring Invitational
Round 1 Results | April 16, 2018
Lake Hills Golf Club | Billings, MT
Team – 1. MSU Billings, 315. Individual – 1. Sarah Schroefel, MSUB, 77. T2. Sammy Walter, MSUB, 78; T3. Shealyn Hafer, MSUB, 80; T3. Bailee Dexter, MSUB, 80. T7. Renae Heisler, MSUB, 83; T9. Sydney Rochford, MSUB, 84; 21. Kylee Knobloch, MSUB, 95.