Eastern Washington golfer Chloe Nelson earned Co-Big Sky Player of the Week honors with University of Montana senior Krista Swanson after both shot a one-under par 215 to tie for third at the Ptarmigan Ram Fall Classic in Fort Collins, Colo on Tuesday (Sept. 12).
Nelson, a sophomore from Las Vegas, Nev., shot rounds of 70, 71 and 74 on the par-72 course and helped lead the Eagles to a tie for sixth place with a total team score of 896, the best among Big Sky schools at the tournament. In her first two rounds, she bettered her previous low round from her freshmen season.
This is the second tournament in a row in which Nelson has placed third. She also finished third last spring as a freshman at the Big Sky Championships in Arizona.
Nelson was named player of the week last March when she finished in a tie for 39th at the UNLV Spring Invitational. She finished the season with a team-leading 79.2 average in 31 rounds, with a low round of 73 at the Bronco Fall Invitational.
"Chloe had a great tournament, but in all honesty, I'm not overly surprised," said EWU head coach Marc Hughes. "She's a very talented player who fights better than most in pressure situations. She's probably the best putter I've coached and she seems to get better as a round goes on. Considering the field, this was probably one of if not the best individual performances for Eastern Golf since I've been here. I'm very proud of her efforts."
Eastern also received a strong performance by Eagle newcomer Marli Mikulecky, a Jr. transfer from Mississippi State who is from Osoyoos, B.C. Mikulecky shot a three-day score of 224 (8-over par), good enough for a 25th place finish. Other Eastern finishers included Chelsey Lollar (38th, 228), Sheena Prante (40th, 229) and Eva Yoe (75th, 243) respectively.
Coach Hughes was pleased with the team's overall performance in Colorado.
"This was a nice start for our team. It's only a start though and we have a lot of work to do. The nice thing is that as a coach, you tell them to believe in themselves, but you never know if they do until the bell rings. This was a good finish for us and some validation that to a certain extent, we are buying into the fact that we're a decent team."
The next tournament for the Eagles is Monday-Tuesday (Sept. 18-19) at the Oregon State Invitational in Corvallis, Ore.