Willamette’s women’s golf team sent three athletes to Thousand Oaks, CA to compete in the Cal Lutheran University Regal Invitational. Since WU did not have enough golfers for a full team, the WU athletes only competed at the individual level.
In the first round on Monday, March 11, junior Lexi Towner shot an 84, 12 strokes over a par of 72. Just a few weeks ago, Towner shot an 81 at the Pacific Invitational and finished in a three-way tie for sixth place. Junior Kristen Barclay shot a 93 in the first round and sophomore Katerin Vasquez shot a 119. Vasquez’s score was a three-point improvement from her performance in the Pacific Invitational.
After an exciting first day on the green, Robert McKinney reported that Assistant Coach Ryan Melnychuk said, “Lexi continued to hit her drive really well, which helped her shoot another impressive round. Kristen shot a back nine of 44. It took her a little while to find her swing, but I thought she settled into the round really well. Katerin hit a ton of fairways, but lost a few shots on the approaches. A few more greens in regulation tomorrow and that score drops a lot.”
After the second day of the tournament, Towner finished in 17th place with a score of 174, which was 30 strokes over par. Towner was four strokes away from a four-way tie for 11th place. Barclay finished with a score of 188 and Vasquez finished with 238.
Annie Hay from Redlands University finished in first place with a remarkable score of 156 and was followed by her teammate Kendal Nicholson, who scored a 159. Hay and Nicholson were tied after the first day of the invitational with scores of 77. Shiyang Fan from Whitman College and Mariah Moon of Redlands tied for third place with scores of 162. Fan had a seven-point improvement from her first day score of 85 to her second-day score of 77. Lauren Fesler and Allison Gaskill of Cal Lutheran, Kacey Godwin of Whitman and Brianna Kim of Occidental College finished in a tie for fifth place with scores of 166.
Redlands had three of their golfers place in the top five, leading to their first place finish and a score of 647. Whitman, who competes in the NWC with WU, won second place with a team score of 670. Occidental defeated the host of the invitational, Cal Lutheran, by three points, scoring 684 and 687, respectively.
The Bearcats will host the Willamette Valley Cup this coming weekend at the Creekside Golf Club in Salem, OR. The first round, on Saturday, March 16 is set to begin at 8 a.m. (PST).