(MSU Billings release)
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Pulling away from the pack in Round 2 of the Saint Martin’s University Invitational on Saturday at Olympia Golf and Country Club, the Montana State University Billings women’s golf team claimed the team title among the field of eight schools competing.
The Yellowjackets shot a two-round total of 640 on the par-73, 5,800-yard course, and improved by 18 strokes between rounds with a 311 on Saturday after a 329 on Friday.
“This was an awesome performance by our team today, and I am super proud of them,” said MSUB associate head coach Jeff Allen. “They played great golf for two days, and prepared very hard for this golf course. We talked about playing the course as our main opponent, and they really did a good job taking it one shot at a time no matter the result on the previous shot. They kept that focus in mind the whole time, and this is a great win for them. We are really looking forward to continuing good play up in Bellingham.”
Senior Shealyn Hafer led her team with a two-round total of 156 (79-55), and finished in second place behind Concordia University’s Cammie Decker at 151 (77-74). Hafer was the lone Yellowjacket to break the mark of 80 in each round, and she was within three strokes of her career best.
“I was very happy with how I played in the conditions yesterday,” Hafer commented on Friday’s rain-filled round. “It was just a victory on the mental aspect of my game. Today I was very consistent. I birdied 14 and that really pumped me up to end my last few holes on a positive note. The mental part of my game was my strongest part this entire weekend. I am very proud of my team and happy to get this victory as a senior.”
Freshmen Kinsey Irvin and Tierney Messmer were also in the top-five, finishing fourth and fifth, respectively. Irvin followed a Round 1-best 77 on Friday with an 82 on Saturday, posting a two-round total of 159 to match her season low in scoring. Irvin’s final round contained a pair of birdies, and she one-putted the last five holes of the day.
Messmer was one of the most drastically improved players, as she went from an 85 on Friday to a 75 on Saturday to finish with a 160. Messmer’s Round 2 score was the best individual mark of the tournament for the ‘Jackets, and she was one stroke off her personal season best. Messmer carded four birdies on Saturday, and came a foot away from a hole-in-one on the par-3 second hole. She also chipped in for a birdie on Hole 16 and cited her short game as the strong part of her play.
Sophomore Renae Heisler came through with a 77 for MSUB on Saturday, as she was one off her career best. Overall she finished in a tie for eighth place with a two-round total of 165 (88-77). Heisler eagled the eighth hole from 30 yards out, and that in addition to a pair of birdies highlighted her round. “Today I was more confident around the greens, and I hit more greens in regulation compared to yesterday,” said Heisler.
Also competing in the event for MSUB was senior Sarah Schroefel, who posted a two-round total of 179 (89-90) and finished in a tie for 27th place. “Today I got up and down really well and hit my driver as well as I ever have,” said Schroefel. “That resulted in hitting more fairways than I have all year.”
The Yellowjackets ran away from their fellow GNAC schools to win the event, as they topped second-place Simon Fraser University by 14 strokes and third-place Concordia University by 15 strokes. Also competing from the GNAC were Northwest Nazarene University which finished in fifth place with a 701 (363-338), and Saint Martin’s University which finished in seventh place with a 715 (359-356).
THE BUZZ: Hafer was selected as the St. Vincent Healthcare Player of the Day…MSUB’s last tournament win was at last year’s Yellowjacket Spring Invite, when they topped a field of four teams on April 16-17 at Lake Hills Golf Club in Billings.
AHEAD: After taking Sunday off, the ‘Jackets will jump right back into competition with the Western Washington University Invitational beginning on Monday in Bellingham. Live scoring for the tournament at the Bellingham Country Club will be available online here.
Saint Martin’s University Invitational
Olympia Golf and Country Club | Olympia, Washington
Final Results | October 6, 2018
Team – 1. MSU Billings, 640 (329-311). Individual – 1. Cammie Decker, Concordia, 151 (77-74); 2. Shealyn Hafer, MSUB, 156 (79-77); 4. Kinsey Irvin, MSUB, 159 (77-82); 5. Tierney Messmer, MSUB, 160 (85-75); T8. Renae Heisler, MSUB, 165 (88-77); T27. Sarah Schroefel, MSUB, 179 (89-90).