In a field of 116 total golfers, junior Jayme Carbon finishes among top 15 on individual leaderboard
The Eastern Washington University women's golf team had an encouraging experience in its first tournament of the 2011-12 season, but the team is still looking to refine a few final pieces.
The Eagles recorded a total team score of 969 (326-323-320) to finish 21st out of 22 Division I teams at the Circling Raven Collegiate Invitational in Worley, Idaho.
"We actually played pretty well for our first tournament, and I was encouraged to see three of our players shoot in the 70s," said EWU head coach Brenda Howe. "Last year, we relied so heavily on one person [Kellie Holmstedt], and now we have three solid players who can consistently contribute low scores."
In both the second and third rounds at Circling Raven, three of Eastern's four scorers shot in the 70s, but the team score took a hit, as the Eagles were unable to find a fourth below 85.
"Unfortunately in college, the scoring is five-count-four, not five-count-three. We absolutely have to work on getting a solid No. 4, and that will make all the difference in our final results."
Eastern was led on Monday (Sept. 12) and Tuesday (Sept. 13) by junior Jayme Carbon, who turned in the best 54-hole performance of her career. Carbon fired a three-round total of 230 (75-79-76) to finish tied for 13th out of 116 total golfers.
"Jayme is a true natural athlete, and that innate athleticism is really starting to show up in her golf game," said Howe. "Already in first few days of practice, I noticed significant improvement in her ball-striking. She also has that fire and determination that comes with being a real athlete and competitor. I know Jayme has what it takes to lead this team."
Fellow junior Morgan Lee also had the best 54-hole score of her career, as she finished tied for 59th with a total score of 239 (83-78-78).
"For Morgan, breaking 80 was always a barrier," said Howe. "So it was great to see her shoot two rounds below 80 in this tournament. After working through some major swing changes over the last eight months, Morgan is finally in position where she can be competitive."
Freshman Caitilin Rice had an impressive debut for the Eagles, as she carded an 83-78-79 to finish in a tie for 68th on the individual leaderboard.
"For it being her first collegiate tournament, Caitilin had a great showing," commended Howe. "I am really excited to see her scores drop as she continues to transition into the college game."
The Eagles finished just one stroke behind Montana State and only four back from Weber State. The Cougars of Washington State won the event with a cumulative team effort of 913 (307-298-308). San Francisco took second, while defending Big Sky Champion Portland State finished third.
Eastern will return to the greens next Monday (Sept. 19) and Tuesday (Sept. 20) for the Cougar Cup at the Palouse Ridge Golf Club in Pullman, Wash.