Roller coaster tournament for women’s golf

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The Utah Valley women’s golf team played in one final tournament in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, before hibernating for winter. The Wolverines finished in 13th place after the three-day tournament on Oct. 27-29.

Diamante Country Club, a par-72, 6,088-yard course, proved to be on the difficult side for the team — finishing each day tied for 11th, dead last 17th and 13th place, respectively. A familiar line-up consisting of seniors Kaylee Shimizu and Kate Williamson, junior Bailey Henley, sophomore Nathalie Irlbacher, and freshman Victoria Estrada all played in the final tournament of the fall season. 

Day 1

Day one consisted of Shimizu carding 1-under-par 71, setting her up nicely to be tied for third place at the end of the day. She played the course nearly on par for 15 holes before knocking down two birdies and a bogey. Irlbacher wasn’t far behind, with four bogeys, countered by two birdies, giving her a total of 2-over-par 74 to end the day. 

Day 2

The following day is where the roller coaster began, where the team fell six spots to dead last, 17th place. All five Wolverines carded worse rounds than day one, with Shimizu still carding the best round of the day, an impressive 3-over-par 75. This put her in a three-way tie for 14th place. A total of 32 bogeys or worse were carded among the five Wolverines to go along with only nine birdies. 

Day 3

The final 18 holes of golf would be the last chance to make up some ground and ride the roller coaster back to the top — and climb they did, up to 13th place. Shimizu recorded a top-20 finish when she carded 2-over-par 74 and 220 through all 54 holes. Irlbacher came next in the UVU standings with an overall score of 227, tying her in 39th place. 

Williamson carded the best round of the day at 1-over-par 73, giving her third place out of the Wolverines with a score of 230. Just three points higher, Henley finished at 233, tying her for 71st place and right behind her, a 234 Estrada carded, landing her tied for 75th place. 

The leader of the tournament came just two states away from Arkansas in Kentucky. With a 5-shot lead, Western Kentucky University won the Little Rock Golf Classic, carding a team score of 876. The Wolverines carded 907 as a team, and fellow WAC competition California Baptist and Kansas City placed third and 16th, respectively.  

UVU women’s golf will now take a break and prepare for the spring schedule. Golf will resume on Feb. 2, when the Wolverines head to Riverside, California to participate in the Battle at the Rock Invitational.