March 12, 2008
After stumbling out of the gates by three-putting her first hole of the day, Eastern Washington University golfer Marli Mikulecky rode the momentum of a hole in one two holes later to a school-record round of 67 at the UNLV Spring Invitational on Wednesday (March 12). The score bettered the previous mark of 68, set by Jeanie Bagnell in the second and final round of the Inland Empire Intercollegiate on April 2, 2002.
"I've been telling her that at some point, this was going to happen," head coach Marc Hughes said. "She has worked endlessly since October to improve her game, and she rebuilt her golf swing over the winter, which is difficult to do, but she is striking it so well. It is nice to see her put it together this early in the spring season."
Eastern Washington as a team had its best round in four years, as its 288 today (even par) was last met or bettered by the 2004 squad, which shot a 286 in the middle round of the Big Sky Conference Championship on April 20 of that year.
The Eagles rebounded from two of its worst rounds of the year, its initial two of the spring campaign, with its incredible performance today. For the three-day tournament, hosted by Boulder Creek Golf Club in Boulder Creek, Nev., and contested from Monday-Wednesday (March 10-12), Eastern Washington shot a 925 (325-315-288) to finish 17th.
"We're not where we need to be, but we're improving and improved over the week," Hughes said. "That was the goal going in, and it is nice to see them shoot that low of a number at this point in time. Shooting even par as a team is not an easy thing to do."
Leading the Eastern Washington squad was Mikulecky, as she rallied from sub-par performances at the beginning of the week to shoot a 226 (83-76-67) and finish in a 46th-place stalemate. Kristina Gargaro was just two strokes behind her and tied for 56th with a 228 (81-75-72).
In a 75th-place tie was Chloe Nelson, as she tallied a score of 233 (78-82-73). Sharing the 84th slot was Kellie Holmstedt with a 238 (80-82-76). In 93rd was Chelsey Lollar with a 268 (91-89-88), while Ines Pantolli competed as an individual and finished in an 88th-place tie with a score of 241 (80-80-81).
Fellow Big Sky Conference school Sacramento State finished tied for 13th with a 901 (299-300-302), while Idaho was ninth (887, 297-293-297), and Washington State tied for the title (859, 285-289-285) with BYU (859, 293-284-282).
The Eagles will next compete at the NCAA West Regional Preview at Lincoln Hills Golf Club in Lincoln, Calif., from March 31-April 1.
Take a look at Mikulecky's school-record scorecard here: http://www.golfstatresults.com//public/leaderboards/player/static/pdetail32464_1201.html (she started on hole 10 today).