Eastern returns to Cypress Ridge Golf Course for unique match play tourney
After nearly a month off from competition, the Eastern Washington University women's golf team will get back to the greens this weekend with the Cal Poly Lamkin Grip Match Play Challenge March 24-25 in Arroyo Grande, Calif.
The event, held at the Cypress Ridge Golf Course, is different than a standard stroke-play tournament in which a team's top four individual scores from each round make up an overall team score. At the Lamkin Grip Match Play Challenge, each school will field a team of five golfers, and the No. 1 golfers from each squad play each other, the No. 2 vs. No. 2, and so on. Each head-to-head competition is worth one point, and the team with the most points at the end of the two-day tournament wins the trophy.
Cypress Ridge in Arroyo Grande is a par 72, 6,803 yard course. There will be seven teams competing at the event, including three from the Big Sky Conference.
In the first round, which starts on Thursday (March 24) at 8:15 a.m., Eastern will play British Columbia University. The semifinal/consolation round will follow on Thursday at 2 p.m., and the finals/consolation will take place Friday (March 25) morning at 8 a.m. The Montana women's golf team will play Cal State San Marcos in the first round, Sacramento State will play Seattle and host school Cal Poly will battle Cal State Bakersfield.
"We have struggled to get a lot of practices in because of wet conditions in the area," said EWU head golf coach Brenda Howe. "This tournament is different from any other tournament we play, but since we've had limited practices this spring, it will be a great opportunity to just go out and swing the club and not get so wrapped up in a final score."
The Cal Poly Lamkin Grip Match Play Challenge will mark EWU's second event of the 2011 spring season. The Eagles debuted at the Red Rocks Invitational on Feb. 25-26, finishing 16th out of 18 teams.
Eastern had a strong showing in the first day of competition at the Oakcreek Country Club in Sedona, Ariz., carding a total team score of 331, which was good for a share of 10th place. Eastern was several strokes ahead of conference foes Weber State, Northern Colorado and Idaho State after the first 18 holes. Unfortunately, Eastern struggled in the second round, as it added 15 strokes to its initial effort. The team fired a 346 the second day to finish with a total score of 677.
Senior Kellie Holmstedt has led the Eagles in four of the team's five events of the 2010-11 season. Holmstedt is averaging 78.6 strokes per round and recorded the second-lowest round of her career (72) during the fall season at the Shocker Invitational in Newton, Kan.
Sophomore Jayme Carbon has also stepped up as a leader on the squad this year, as she has also played in all 13 rounds for the Eagles in 2010-11. She averages 80.1 strokes per round and has had one top 10 finish this season, which also came at the Shocker Invite.