Jessica Prokop – Review staff writer. The women’s golf team began its season with a second-place finish at the George Fox University Women’s Invitational on Sept. 19.
The tournament, hosted by GFU, took place at Chehalem Glenn Golf Course in Newberg, Ore. Other schools in the competition included Willamette University and Lewis & Clark College.
The top four individual scores counted toward each team’s overall success.
GFU took first place with a total of 336, Linfield came in second with 358, Willamette took third with 440 and Lewis & Clark finished in fourth with 468.
Linfield head coach Karly Cramer said that in past years, Linfield and George Fox have played neck-and-neck during invitationals.
“Our team did well; George Fox just had a home-course advantage this time,” she said.
Freshman Brinn Hovede stood out in her first collegiate tournament. She produced a top score for her team, tying for fifth place with fellow teammates senior Brittany Johnston and junior Katie Kilborn, who shot an 89 and 17 over par, respectively.
“I was kind of surprised; I didn’t know if nerves would affect my game,” Hovede said. “I played pretty well overall, but I didn’t have course knowledge, and it is the hardest public course in Oregon.”
On two par-three holes, Hovede managed to pull off strong tee shots. The second of the two landed one foot away from the hole, and she tapped it in for a birdie.
“I had one bad hole in between my two good ones,” Hovede said. “I was basically taking blind shots, and it didn’t turn out so well.”
Johnston, one of the team’s leaders and its only senior, also contributed to the team’s total score.
She did well on the front nine, landing a birdie on the first hole and chipping another in on the fifth.
Nevertheless, the back nine proved to be difficult and cost her two less-than-satisfactory holes. But Johnston said she knew where she tripped up and broke even on the following two holes.
“The back nine is pretty new and challenging, but after my two bad holes, I played a solid game,” she said.
Cramer said that, overall, the team had more birdies than it has had in the past, but all of its players had one or two low-scoring holes.
Missing from the tournament was junior Brynn Hurdus, who, during past years, has proved to be a team success.
Because this season’s team is fairly large, comprising 10 women, Cramer said she holds qualifying rounds before each tournament to select the top players who will attend.
The team will play in five tournaments this season. However, the Fall Classic scores are the only ones that will count for nationals.
The team’s next tournament will take place at Quail Valley in Banks, Ore., on Sept. 26 and 27.