Freshman Marissa Borja is second among all Big Sky golfers with her impressive five-over par 149, while Morgan Lee cards 150 to tie for sixth in her senior season debut
The Eastern Washington University women’s golf team had a lot to celebrate during its trip to Sedona, Ariz., for the Red Rocks Invitational, including a hole-in-one during the practice round for freshman Marissa Borja, and an eagle on a par 4 in the second round for senior Jayme Carbon. But in the end, it was the solid, consistent play of Borja and senior Morgan Lee that led the Eagles to their best finish of the 2012-13 season.
With a total team score of 622 (312-310), the Eagles took eighth out of 21 teams at the Red Rocks Invitational at the Oakcreek Country Club in Sedona, Ariz. EWU finished just one stroke back from host Northern Arizona, which was the team picked to win this year’s Big Sky Conference Championship.
“I am very excited about the way we played,” said EWU head coach Brenda Howe. “And I think this is the way we can and should be playing all the time. I thought at this tournament, we were more aware of the course and made better decisions on how to play specific holes. Those decisions may not have been the most aggressive ones that you might see other teams making, but for us, they were safer. They were decisions that help with consistency - specifically, help us avoid some of the quad and triple bogeys that have been our Achilles heel in the past.”
This was the third year in a row EWU has competed at the Red Rocks Invite, and the total score this weekend was Eastern’s best by more than 50 strokes.
Borja shot a five-over par 149 (74-75) to finish fifth out of 126 total competitors. She had five birdies and picked up a total of 22 pars in the two rounds.
“Marissa is hitting the ball better and better every time we play,” said Howe. “She knows her own game inside and out, and really knows how to manage the course. She is truly a student of the game. This weekend was certainly no fluke - this is the kind of player Marissa is.”
Borja had the second-best score among all 35 Big Sky golfers at the event, while her 74 in the first round marked a season-best for the Eagles. But that impressive first-round score was actually matched by another Eagle in the second round.
Playing in her first tournament of the 2012-13 season, senior Morgan Lee also fired a 74 in the second round at Oakcreek. Finishing with a two-round total of 150 (76-74), Lee tied for sixth place on the individual leaderboard. She had seven birdies throughout the tournament - third most of all players at the event.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect from Morgan since she was so busy in the fall with nursing school, and hadn’t played in any of our tournaments since last April,” said Howe. “But I think maybe with that time off, and with everything she has going on with school, her perspective on golf and life has changed a little bit. I really thought she looked more mature out there this weekend. She was relaxed and hitting the ball the best I’ve seen her in three and half years.”
Besides the winning team from Toledo, Eastern Washington was the only squad to have two individuals in the top 10.
Carbon, one of just four players to record an eagle during the weekend, finished with a two-round total of 161 (83-78). She was among the top half of the field, tying for 50th on the individual leaderboard.
Sophomore Caitilin Rice was one stroke back from Carbon at 162 (79-83), while junior Sara Callagy carded a total score of 175 (88-87).
Toledo won the team title with a cumulative effort of 605 (304-301). CSU-Northridge was second (609), followed by Big Sky newcomer Southern Utah in third (612).
There were a total of seven Big Sky teams competing in Sedona, and EWU was third among that group. Eastern was only four strokes out of finishing in the top five.
Next up for the Eagles is the Jackrabbit Invitational in Primm, Nev., on April 8-9. This event, hosted by South Dakota State, is the only one on EWU’s 2013 spring schedule that is not in Arizona.
|1. Toledo||304-301=605 (+29)|
|2. CSU-Northridge||303-306=609 (+33)|
|3. Southern Utah||304-308=612 (+36)|
|T4. UC Riverside||319-299=618 (+42)
|T4. Eastern Michigan||315-303=618 (+42)|
|6. Western Michigan||310-310=620 (+44)|
|7. Northern Arizona||311-310=621 (+45)|
|8. Eastern Washington||312-310=622 (+46)|
|9. Cal Poly 314 311||314-311=625 (+49)|
|T10. British Columbia||314-313=627 (+51)|
|T10. Grand Canyon||308-319=627 (+51)|
|12. Seattle||316-314=630 (+54)|
|13. Weber State||317-319=636 (+60)|
|14. Utah Valley||328-316=644 (+68)|
|15. Oakland||335-315=650 (+74)|
|16. Montana State||322-329=651 (+75)|
|17. Cal State
|18. South Dakota||343-343=686 (+110)|
|19. North Dakota||347-342=689 (+113)|
|20. Northern Kentucky||352-351=703 (+127)|
|21. Idaho State||366-341=707 (+131)|
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS
|1. Clariss Guce (CSU-Northridge)||72-74=146 (+2)|
|T2. Amelia Ek (UC Riverside)||75-72=147 (+3)|
|T2. Kelsey Chugg (Weber State)||71-76=147 (+3)|
|4. Allison Schultz (Toledo)||75-73=148 (+4)|
|5. Marissa Borja (Eastern
|T6. Sathika Ruenreong (Toledo)||74-76=150 (+6)|
|T6. Savana Bezdicek (Northern Arizona)||75-75=150 (+6)|
|T6. Morgan Lee (Eastern Washington)||76-74=150 (+6)|
|T6. Sarah Johnson (Eastern Michigan)||76-74=150 (+6)|
|T6. Paige Crawford (Montana State)||72-78=150 (+6)|
|T6. Kylie Barros (British Columbia)||75-75=150 (+6)|
|5. Marissa Borja (1)||74-75=149 (+5)|
|T6. Morgan Lee (4)||76-74=150 (+6)|
|T50. Jayme Carbon
|T58. Caitilin Rice (2)||79-83=162 (+18)|
|104. Sara Callagy (5)||88-87=175 (+31)|