September 26, 2012

Eagles Have Impressive Second Round at WSU Cougar Cup, but Can’t Maintain the Edge Through Final 18

Eastern led in Pullman by rookie Marissa Borja, who turned in second-lowest 54-hole score by an Eagle in the last three years

After two rounds at the Palouse Ridge Golf Course in Pullman, Wash., the Eastern Washington University women’s golf team held a 10-stroke advantage on Big Sky foe Montana State, and was leading Montana by six. But in the final round of the 2012 WSU Cougar Cup, the Eagles struggled to find four low scores, and the team ended up falling behind the two conference rivals.

The Eagles finished 14th at the tournament with a cumulative team effort of 960 (323-308-329). California won the team title with a total score of 877 (291-290-296), followed by Gonzaga (882) and host-Washington State (883).

Eastern had six golfers make the trip to Pullman, including all three freshmen on the 2012 roster. In the second round, all five Eagle scorers, plus their individual competitor, shot in the 70s. That second-round effort of 308 was the best score turned in by the squad in almost two years.

Eastern fired 303 in the second round of the Shocker Invitational on Oct. 18, 2010.

Unfortunately though, Eastern’s strong effort in the second round was not enough to overcome the less than favorable scores from the first and third rounds, as Eastern finished 12 strokes behind Montana State and 16 back from Montana in the final standings.

“I am proud of the way we responded in the second round,” said EWU head coach Brenda Howe. “But as we saw, one round doesn’t win tournaments. We have to be able to play like that for three complete rounds.”

One member of the Eagle squad who did play solid for three rounds was freshman Marissa Borja, who finished among the top 30 on the individual leaderboard. The rookie out of Spring Valley, Calif., fired a total score of 229 (75-76-78), which was the second-lowest 54-hole effort by an Eagle since the 2008-09 season.

“I was really impressed with Marissa’s performance,” said Howe. “Especially in the third round when she wasn’t feeling well. She was able to dig and claw for a respectable 78. She is just a different level of golfer. She really fights through every hole.”

Sophomore Caitilin Rice was second on the Eagle squad and 67th overall with her three-round total of 241 (81-77-83).

Finishing two strokes back from Rice was senior Jayme Carbon, who competed well on the first day at Palouse Ridge, but turned in an 88 on the final 18 to drop from 32nd to 70th in the final standings.

After shooting 90 in the first round of her very first collegiate golf tournament, freshman Taylor Anderson quickly turned it around and fired a 79 in the second round and 81 in the third. The Moscow, Idaho, native finished fourth on the Eagle squad and tied for 79th overall.

Junior Sara Callagy carded 255 at the event, with a 91 in the first round, 77 in the second and 87 in the third.

“Our freshmen will obviously experience some nerves in these first few tournaments,” said Howe. “But overall, they looked really promising. Unfortunately, I really didn’t see the play I needed out of my veteran players.”

Freshman Maddie Dodge out of Post Falls, Idaho, competed as an individual at the WSU Cougar Cup, but her 54-hole effort of 243 actually tied with Carbon, who was third among the Eagle scorers.

Eastern will continue its fall season at the Rose City Collegiate Oct. 1-2. The tournament, hosted by Big Sky foe Portland State, will be held at the Landon Farms Golf Club in Aurora, Ore.

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