Golf off to strong start after first outdoor tournament of spring season

by Nicole Oh | Staff Writer

This weekend both the Whitworth men and women’s golf teams traveled to the PLU Invitational at Oakbrook Golf Club in Lakewood. In their first outdoor tournament of the spring the women ended up winning the two day tournament with a total of 656 points. Followed by Pacific Lutheran in second place, and Puget Sound in third place. On the men’s side Whitworth  had an A and B team both play in the tournament and they ended up tying for fourth place, each finishing up the tournament with 625 points. Pacific Lutherans A and B team took first and second place, followed by Grays Harbor in third

On the women’s side,senior Katie Ochoa and sophomore Maggie Peters tied for first place. In the playoff to break the tie, Ochoa ended up winning. Ochoa and Peters both scored a 160.

“The tournament this weekend went really well, especially for our first time playing on grass,” sophomore Cheyenne Marchand said. Due to the snow, the team has been practicing with simulator and nets here on campus. Marchand’s individual goals for the rest of the season include “working on doing better the second day and helping out the team as much as possible.” Marchand finished up in 10th place with a score of 173 points.

“We are still focusing on short games, which is chipping and putting, because that is where you win matches”, Sophomore Ali Brandt said. Brandts goals for the rest of the season include “shooting low 80’s by the end of the season and ultimately the team winning conference.” Brandt ended the match  in 15th place with a score of 184 points. Also competing for the Pirates was Allie Slingsby who finished in eighth place, Madison Pillo in 11th , and Jaymie Pentony with fourth place.

On the men’s side, freshman Caleb Belton and sophomore JackRyan O’Neil tied for fifth place, each shooting a 151. Close behind in a tie for eighth place were Reily Hegarty and Elijah Pittser, each scoring a 153. Triston Hartfiel finished in 20th, Preston Roth finished in 23rd, Keegan Loo with 26th place, Ryan Brown in 30th, Sam Stiles in 32nd and Tyson Odden in 40th.

“The tournament went pretty well this weekend, it wasn’t our best but it was good to get outside, play on a real course and shake the rust off” Loo said

One thing the team is working on is “competing throughout every tournament and improve at each tournament that we go to.” After talking with Loo and Pittser, the teams ultimate goal is to win conference, to do this the team is “working on consistency and playing our best whenever we compete and improve from last year”

The women and men will both compete the weekend of March 10 and 11 The men will play at the Spring Fling at Sunwillows Golf Club in Pasco and the women at the Sunshine Invite at Columbia Point Golf Course in Richland.