(MSUB Athletics release)
COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho – Matching her career low-round score on the opening day of the 2018 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championships, Montana State University Billings junior Shealyn Hafer carded a 75 on Monday at the Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course.
Hafer started her day with a birdie on the par-5, 499-yard first hole, and never looked back as she stands in third place with one round left to play on the par-71, 5,914-yard course. She putted just 26 times, hit 10 of 13 fairways, and seven greens in regulation.
As a team, the Yellowjackets are in fourth place after shooting an opening-round score of 322 on Monday. “Our women fought hard today,” said MSUB head coach Kevin Woodin. “I feel like we left a few out there, and I am looking forward to the final round. We need to relax a little more, let the game come to us, and try not to force the action.”
Hafer carded another birdie on the par-3, 120-yard fifth hole, en route to shooting an even-par 35 on the front-nine. The Butte, Mont., native is within striking distance of the overall leader, Estee Leung of Simon Fraser University, who shot an even-par 71 on Monday. “I was very happy for Shealyn today,” Woodin said. “She battled hard and putted very well. A 75 was an impressive score for this course today, and I am excited for her to be near the top of the leaderboard.”
Playing the course at the CDA Resort for the fourth and final time in her career, senior Sammy Walter was next on the team with a score of 80 on Monday, Walter was 1-under-par through her first five holes of the day, as she had four pars and a birdie on the par-4, 256-yard fourth hole.
The senior’s day ended with excitement, as she notched the Yellowjackets’ lone eagle on the par-5, 462-yard 15th hole. Her shot of the day was a 70-foot putt that fell into the cup to save her a pair of strokes. Walter followed with one more birdie on the par-4, 236-yard 17th, ending her day with back-to-back 40s on the front- and back-nine. Walter is currently in a tie for 10th place after Day 1.
Playing the championship course for her first time, freshman Renae Heisler finished the day with a score of 83 and is in a tie for 16th place. The highlight of the day for Heisler came on the world-famous par-3 14th hole, featuring the floating green on Lake Coeur d’Alene. Heisler picked up her lone birdie of the day, … It came at the end of a six-hole stretch during which she played at 1-under-par.
One stroke behind Heisler are senior Bailee Dexter and junior Sarah Schroefel, who are in a tie for 20th place after each shooting an 84 on Monday.
Dexter had nine pars on Monday, and made her lone birdie on the par-3, 180-yard 12th hole. In her first time through the course, Schroefel notched eight pars and played the front-nine at 4-over-par 39.
Simon Fraser University is in the lead after Day 1 of the event, shooting a team score of 302 on Monday. The Clan have a 10-stroke lead over Concordia University, as they look to defend their GNAC title.
THE BUZZ: Hafer was named the St. Vincent Healthcare Player of the Day…Hafer’s other 75 in her MSUB career came on March 10, 2017 at the Beaver-‘Jacket Invitational in Las Vegas…the junior’s personal-best two-round score is 154, which she would surpass with a 78 or better on Tuesday…last season, Hafer had scores of 83 and 78 at the CDA Resort for a two-round total of 161 and a tie for 12th place at the conference tournament.
AHEAD: The second and final round is scheduled to begin on Tuesday morning, as the Yellowjackets compete in their final round of the 2017-18 season. Live scoring for the event can be followed online through the Golf Stat link here.
GNAC Women’s Golf Championships
Round 1 Results | April 23, 2018
Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course | Coeur d’Alene, ID
Team – 1. Simon Fraser University, 302; 4. MSU Billings, 322. Individual – 1. Estee Leung, SFU, 72; 3. Shealyn Hafer, MSUB, 75; T10. Sammy Walter, MSUB, 80; T16. Renae Heisler, MSUB, 83; T20. Bailee Dexter, MSUB, 84; T20. Sarah Schroefel, MSUB, 84.