Idaho women’s golf in second place in Big Sky Championship with one round to go
After two rounds of golf, the Idaho women’s golf team may not be exactly where it wants to be, but it still is in the hunt for a Big Sky Conference Championship heading into the third and final round Tuesday in Chandler, Arizona.
The Vandals sit in second place with a 26-over-par 602. They are four strokes behind the leader Southern Utah, which has shot a 22-over-par 598 in its first two rounds. Idaho shot a 13-over-par 301 Sunday and Monday.
“We feel content that we’re near the top of the leaderboard and we know that tomorrow we have to bring our best game to win,” Idaho coach Lisa Johnson said. “So our intent is to shoot our shots as low as possible and try to get some momentum early.”
With one round to go, the championship is by no means a two-team race between Southern Utah and Idaho. Sacramento State is five strokes behind Southern Utah and in third place, Northern Arizona is six strokes off the lead and in fourth and Eastern Washington is eight strokes behind the leader and in fifth.
Johnson said her team needs to make more putts Tuesday.
“We just haven’t quite figured out the speed of the greens,” Johnson said. “The greens are a little slower than we’re used to in competition, and thus we’ve been leaving a lot of putts short.”
Three Idaho players have cracked the top 15 individually in the championship, with two of those players in the top 10 heading into Tuesday.
Idaho senior Leilanie Kim leads the Vandals with a 3-over-par 147 and is tied for seventh. She shot an even-par 72 Monday and is seven strokes behind the leader Taylor Viquelia from Southern Utah.
“Leilanie’s game truly looks better than it ever has,” Johnson said. “She got a couple bad breaks yesterday. Today she made a few more putts. She made a couple more birdies … She’s putting herself in position to shoot a really low score tomorrow if she can just keep up her ball striking and then make some putts earlier on in the round and build some momentum.”
Idaho sophomore Amy Hasenoehrl is tied for 10th with a 5-over-par 149 and junior Kristin Strankman is tied for 15th with an 8-over-par 152.
Johnson said Hasenoehrl has improved throughout the year and that Hasenoehrl is confident in her golf game.
“Amy is a big tournament player,” Johnson said. “She steps up when the stakes are high. If you really look at her scores through the year, she’s notorious for that and so it’s not surprising to me that she’s playing well this week.”
Also for the Vandals, senior Kaitlyn Oster carded a 12-over-par 156 and sits tied for 28th and junior Cassie McKinley posted a 16-over-par 160 and is in 42nd.
Garrett Cabeza can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org