(MSU Billings release)
GOODYEAR, Ariz. – Leading the Montana State University Billings women’s golf team in the final round of the Western New Mexico University Mustang Invitational on Tuesday at Golf Club of Estrella, sophomore Renae Heisler posted a career-low round of 76 to finish the tournament.
Heisler’s two-round total of 155 bettered her previous mark of 159 by four strokes, as she followed her 79 on Monday with a three-stroke improvement her second time through the course. “My putting and my chipping were my strengths today, and I had a lot of up-and-downs,” Heisler said. “Off the tee, I wasn’t as consistent as I was yesterday.”
Heisler finished in a tie for 46th place, and helped the Yellowjackets to a two-round team score of 635 (325-310) on the par-72, 6,087-yard course. MSUB finished the event in 16th place among the field of 19 teams. “I was really happy that the women were able to shave 15 strokes off their score from yesterday, and that’s quite an improvement,” said MSUB head coach Kevin Woodin. “They should be very proud of their effort. Overall this was a really good showing for our women, and I know they are looking forward to playing again next week.”
Heisler’s top collegiate round started off with an even-par back-nine, as she had carded one birdie and one bogey by the time she made the turn. She added one more birdie on the front to top her previous low of 78 by a pair of strokes.
“Renae’s round was outstanding, and was one of her best ever,” said Woodin. “I am very excited that it included no doubles, and she has been working on being more consistent throughout her rounds. She got that done today.”
Also putting together a consistent tournament was senior Shealyn Hafer, who tied for 64th place with a two-round score of 159. After carding a 79 on Monday, Hafer followed with an 80 on Tuesday to finish the event. “I started off well and was feeling confident, but just got out of my groove a bit,” Hafer said. “I only missed one fairway in the tournament and didn’t lose a ball, so I kept it in play very well. I just need to work on staying loose and in the flow, and I believe it will all come together.”
Freshmen Kinsey Irvin and Tierney Messmer each had their best collegiate round so far, as they each shot a 5-over-par 77 on Tuesday. Irvin matched Hafer with a 159 to tie for 64th place, as she had four birdies on Tuesday and played the front-nine at just 1-over-par 37. Irvin’s 77 followed an 82 on Monday, and her two-round total of 159 was a two-stroke improvement from her initial collegiate tournament with a 161. “I played better today than yesterday,” said Irvin. “I had a couple bad holes, but I made up for them with four birdies on the day. I was consistent with my approach shots, and I hit a few long putts.”
“Kinsey had an up-and-down day, but the four birdies were great,” Woodin commented. “She was able to respond after having poor holes, coming back with birdies. I’m really proud of her for registering her best score of the season.”
Messmer’s 77 came in the form of two solid nines, as she played the back at 2-over-par 38 and the front at 3-over-par 39. Settling in at the end of her round, Messmer ended with a string of eight consecutive pars. She wound up with a two-round total of 162, and tied for 77th place.
“My round went better today than yesterday, which is nice,” Messmer said. “I was five-for-five on up-and-downs today, which saved me quite a few strokes. I had a few three-putts and struggled off the tee at times, but other than that it was a pretty good day.”
Senior Sarah Schroefel finished the event with an 87 on Tuesday, and posted a two-round score of 172. Schroefel’s lone birdie in Round 2 came on the par-3, 157-yard 17th hole. “I got the ball really pure today and hit more greens and fairways than I did yesterday,” said Schroefel. “I just ran into trouble on a few holes in the native desert that is down on this course. I hope that playing at home in Billings next week will bring more confidence and consistency.”
Cal State San Marcos held onto its Round 1 lead and claimed the team title, shooting a two-round score of 575 (289-286). The Cougars’ Sarah Garcia and Jaime Jacob finished 1-2 at the event, with scores of 140 (72-68) and 142 (72-70), respectively.
“We set a goal last night as a team to move up on the leaderboard, and we did,” Hafer said. “As a captain I am proud of the girls grinding the way that they did today.”
THE BUZZ: Heisler was picked as the St. Vincent Healthcare Player of the Day…her previous low-round score of 78 and two-round total of 159 each came at the Winona State Warrior Invitational on March 12-13, 2018…MSUB’s team score of 310 Tuesday and 635 overall was its best collective effort of the season.
NEXT UP: The ‘Jackets have another tournament next week, as they return home for the Rocky Mountain College Invitational in Billings October 1-2. The 36-hole event will take place at Peter Yegen Golf Club.
Western New Mexico University Mustang Invitational
Golf Club of Estrella | Goodyear, Arizona
Final Results | September 25, 2018
Team – 1. Cal State San Marcos, 575 (289-286); 16. MSU Billings, 635 (325-310). Individual – 1. Sarah Garcia, CSUSM, 140 (72-68); T46. Renae Heisler, MSUB, 155 (79-76); T64. Shealyn Hafer, MSUB, 159 (79-80); T64. Kinsey Irvin, MSUB, 159 (82-77); T77. Tierney Messmer, MSUB, 162 (85-77); T89. Sarah Schroefel, MSUB, 172 (85-87).