by Jordanne Perry
The Whitworth men’s and women’s golf teams competed in the UPS Invitational in Tacoma, Wash. at the Fircrest Country Club where both teams placed, respectively, second overall in the two-day tournament.
On the first day the women finished in fourth place, but improved their score by 37 strokes to surmount Lewis & Clark and Pacific Lutheran to take second place on the final day of the tournament.
Freshman Michal Schuster led the Pirates both days of the tournament with scores of 82 and 76. Turning in her lowest score of her collegiate career on the second day, Schuster propelled herself from second to first place in the overall player standings.
“I was tied with [Katie Zajicek (Whitman)] for first place on the 15th hole and I sank a 15 foot putt for a birdie,” Schuster said. “I gained three strokes on [Zajicek] which was huge and I thought, ‘alright I’m going to win this.”
Junior Nicole Lomax, rejoining the team after a back injury, also ended the final day with a score of 76 and finished fifth in the player standings with scores of 89 and 76. Sophomore Chelsea Bayley (88-83—171) also completed the tournament in the top-ten player rankings.
“This tournament was huge for us considering the amount of practice we’ve had,” Lomax said. “We’ve only been able to hit in the Fieldhouse so to finish in the top two teams was awesome.”
Though the women turned in the lowest score on the final day of 319, they finished just 15 strokes behind Whitman.
The men’s golf team lowered their first day score of 311 by 17 strokes to surpass Pacific Lutheran and jump from third place to second with a total team score of 605.
Senior Jesse Salzwedel lowered his score by eight strokes on the second day to jump from ninth to first place in the overall player standings of the tournament.
“My goal was to enjoy the day and play for God,” Salzwedel said. “At the end of the day, no matter where I was in score, it was a fun day. I got to be with the team, travel and play the game I love. I’m just trying to enjoy every moment before my college golf experience is over.”
Senior Stephen Plopper (77-74—151) finished second for the Pirates and tied for ninth place in the player standings while sophomore Samson Martinez (78-76—154) tied for 13th.
“It feels great to win and to place well as a team and I think we’re excited to see where we will go from here,” Salzwedel said.
The women’s spring season will continue on March 29-30 at the UC Santa Cruz Invitational at Pacific Grove Golf Links course in Pacific Grove, Calif.
The men will return next Saturday to compete in a dual meet with Whitman at Canyon Lakes Golf Course in Kennewick, Wash.
Contact Jordanne Perry at firstname.lastname@example.org