An SFU program on the rise suffered their first setback of the spring this week. SFU women’s golf finished ninth in the Tim Tierney Pioneer Shootout. This followed an impressive fourth-place conclusion to their first action of the spring.
March 6 and 7 saw the Clan travel to Vallejo, California to play the tournament. Held on the Arnold Palmer-designed Hiddenbrooke Golf Club, the Shootout was not all iced tea and lemonade for the Clan as they finished in ninth place out of 14 teams. California Baptist University (CBU) is proving to be the team to watch this season. After winning their host tournament in February, CBU again secured the team victory.
For the Clan, the first round saw the team put up some high scores. Emily Leung’s 76 (+4) paced the Clan, with the rest of her teammates finishing in the 80s. Jaya Rampuri shot a 14-over-par 86, with Kylie Jack, Belinda Lin and Erin Farner putting up identical 87 (+15) rounds. Head coach Matt Steinbach alluded to the tough conditions that marked the round.
“That first day was a beast of a day. It was cold, there was rain coming in sideways, [and] there was sleet,” he explained. “The weather conditions made it tough and we didn’t handle it particularly well.”
After their first round of the tournament saw the team situated close to the bottom of the leaderboard, the Clan rebounded admirably in round two. The team knocked 24 strokes off their round one scores, good enough for the fourth-lowest team scorecard on the day. The quintet of Leung, Rampuri, Jack, Lin, and Farner all improved on their first round, with Rampuri leading the Clan with a three-over-par 75.
Leung, who was voted the 2016 Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) freshman of the year by GNAC coaches the year previous, is continuing her strong play. Showing no signs of a sophomore slump, Leung followed up a team leading 10-over-par tournament with a four-over performance in the Shootout, again good enough for the team lead and a 13th place finish.
“Emily is a world-class player. Her golf IQ is through the roof and she matches phenomenal skill and talent with a great work ethic,” said Steinbach
Next tournament: Yet another California tournament awaits the Clan. They will head this time to Chico to play the Interwest Wildcat Invitational. Steinbach mentioned he has yet to finalize his roster, but expects it to more reflect the opening tournament of the spring “with one or two players getting their first action of this semester.” Look for some different names to appear on SFU’s scorecard this time out. Round one tees off March 13.