April 23, 2013

Seniors Lead Eagles to Sixth-Place Finish at Big Sky Championship

Jayme Carbon and Morgan Lee shoot personal-best rounds to cap off careers, leading Eastern to a huge season best score

The Eastern Washington University women’s golf team sent off its two seniors in excellent fashion, shooting their lowest score of the season Tuesday (April 23) in the final round of the 2013 Big Sky Championship in Chandler, Ariz., at Ocotillo Resort to place sixth out of the 11 conference teams.

Eastern closed the third round strong, shooting a season-low 298 for a grand total of 911 (301, 312, 298). That was the best round by an Eagle squad since 2008, when the team shot a 298 at the NCAA West Regional Preview. It was also the best 54-hole effort by the team this season as well as the best three-round score by an Eastern team since 2002.

“I’m really excited with how we played,” said head coach Brenda Howe. “I was ecstatic about the third round score. It was something we knew we were capable of and I’m really proud of the girls and how they finished.”

The Eagles climbed into sixth place on the day, moving ahead of seventh-place Weber State (915), but coming up seven strokes short of fifth-place Sacramento State (904) and ten strokes off of third place Southern Utah and Northern Colorado (901). That put an end to Eastern’s four-year streak of eighth-place finishes at the tournament.

“Being somewhere in the middle of the pack was a realistic goal for us and that’s exactly where we landed,” said Howe, “It took some work to move ahead of Weber State and hold off Montana as well.”

Northern Arizona won the team title with a combined score of 882 (299,293,290). Portland State was the runner-up with an 886 (290,302,294). Montana State’s Paige Crawford won individual medalist honors, setting a new 54-hole championship record with an eight-under par effort of 208 (73,68,67)

Leading the way for EWU on the final day was senior Jayme Carbon, who closed her career in incredible fashion, recording her first score under par with a 69. She converted seven birdies and seven pars on the day and had a three-round total of 220, just four over par and a career-best by 10 strokes. That effort earned Carbon a top-ten finish as she tied for ninth overall.

Senior Morgan Lee capped off her career in a similar trend, firing off a personal-best 71 in her last 18 holes as an Eagle. She shot 12 pars along with four birdies, the last birdie coming on the final hole to put her under par. Lee accumulated a score of 237 for the tournament, good for a season best and 36th place overall.

“I was really happy for Jayme and Morgan to go out on a high note,” said Howe. “They went out there with nothing to lose and played extraordinarily.”

Freshman Marissa Borja showed promise in her first BSC Championship, tallying a 78 in the last round for a total of 228. She finished tied for 18th individually.

Caitilin Rice carded an 80 Tuesday, giving her a 54-hole total of 233 to finish 26th.

Sara Callagy shot an 87 in the third round, recording a total of 246 for the tournament.

“Some of the younger players struggled today, but they pulled through,” said Howe. “I’m very excited where the program is going and hopefully this is kind of a stepping stone and we can continue this success next season.”

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