GREEN, CHEN HELP WOMEN'S GOLF TO SECOND PLACE FINISH AT BIG SKY CHAMPIONSHIPS
CHANDLER, Ariz. — The Sacramento State women's golf team posted the best team score of the day but its push fell just short as the Hornets finished second at the Big Sky Championships on Wednesday at the Ocotillo Golf Resort.
Sacramento State entered the final round trailing Portland State and Northern Arizona by seven strokes. The Hornets shot 304 on the final day, which was the best by three strokes in the field, and finished with a three-round total of 902. Portland State held on for the team title after shooting 295-296-309-900. Norther Arizona shot 313 and finished at 904. Northern Colorado (918), Montana (919), Montana State (941), Weber State (950), Eastern Washington (986) and Idaho State (998) finished fourth through ninth, respectively.
The Hornets' final score is the second best in school history at the Big Sky Championships and the fifth lowest all-time in conference history. Sacramento State holds the record with an 884 in 2007.
"We're really disappointed," Sacramento State Director of Golf David Sutherland said. "We were chasing all day but the team never stopped competing. If you would have told me at the start of the day that we would have two 74s and a 76 in these conditions (15-20 mph winds) I would have thought that we would have won."
Senior Brooke Green and sophomore Justine Chen tied for the lowest round of the day by an individual as each carded a 2-over 74. Green finished tied for third overall at 75-73-74-222 while Chen finished tied for eighth at 76-78-74-228.
Green was 3-over through her first eight holes before birdying back-to-back holes to bring her back into contention. The senior began her run with a birdie on the par-4 ninth and then birdied the par-4 10th before running off four consecutive pars. A bogey on the par-4 15th was followed by three more pars to end her round.
"You've got to tip your hat to Brooke," Sutherland said. "What a way for a senior to go out. She did exactly what I expected her to do."
Chen easily played her best golf of the tournament on Wednesday. The sophomore was 2-over at the turn with a birdie, five pars and three bogeys on the front. She began her back nine with three straight pars and then sandwiched two birdies around two bogeys before parring the final two holes.
Fellow sophomore Julie Shutler carded her third consecutive round of 76 to tie Shutler and Samantha Saffold for eighth place. Shutler shot 38 on both sides comprised of one birdie, five pars and three bogeys on each side.
Saffold fought back from early troubles to help the team with its late surge. The Sacramento native, who shot 72-76 in her opening rounds, was 4-over through four holes and later stood at 8-over through eight. She earned one stroke back with a birdie on the par-4 ninth and then parred the 10th and 11th. A double-bogey on the par-3 12th and a bogey on the par-4 14th left her at 10-over before she parred 15 and 16 and then birdied her final two holes.
Kercia Brakel closed out her tournament with an 81 and tied for 24th overall. Brakel had a 13-hole stretch without a par which featured four birdies, seven bogeys and two double bogeys.
Despite a 77 on Wednesday, Northern Arizona's Stephanie Kim was the medalist with a total of 69-70-77-216. Kim was also able to tie the individual 54-hole record which was shared by Sacramento State's Margaux Sheehan (2007) and NAU's Lauren Gray (2004). Megan Buck, also of NAU, was second at 70-75-75-220. Green and Portland State's Britney Yada tied for third with a total of 222.
1. Portland State 295-296-309-900
2. SACRAMENTO STATE 299-299-304-902
3. Northern Arizona 294-297-313-904
4. Northern Colorado 300-309-309-918
5. Montana 311-301-307-919
6. Montana State 309-316-316-941
7. Weber State 313-312-325-950
8. Eastern Washington 324-328-334-986
9. Idaho State 326-331-341-998
INDIVIDUAL TOP FIVE
1. Stephanie Kim, NAU, 69-70-77-216
2. Megan Buck, NAU, 70-75-75-220
T3. Brooke Green, SAC, 75-73-74-222
T3. Britney Yada, PSU, 71-76-75-222
5. Ali Nelson, NC, 75-73-76-224
SACRAMENTO STATE SCORES
T3. Brooke Green 75-73-74-222
T8. Julie Shutler 76-76-76-228
T8. Samantha Saffold 72-76-80-228
T8. Justine Chen 76-78-74
T24. Kercia Brakel 83-74-81-238