Golf drives on to conference

The men’s and women’s golf teams took third place during the Pacific Spring Invitational on April 16 and 17. The teams are headed to the Northwest Conference Championships April 22 and 23 in hopes of another Northwest Conference title.

At the end of the first day of the invitational, the men sat in fourth place with a score of 313. By the second day, the team finished in third place with a final score of 608.

Junior Alex Fitch took fourth place with an overall score of 148. Senior Yutaro Sakamoto scored one stroke less than Fitch, tying for 5th with University of Puget Sound golfer, Collin Wulff. Sophomore Josh Kay placed 10th, with a score of 152.

“We’ve got a good chance at winning the conference,” Sakamoto said. “If we do what we’re supposed to do this weekend, we can make it to nationals. I’m looking forward to that opportunity again.”

The men’s team has won first place in two tournaments this season.

“As long as we don’t get carried away, we can hopefully come back with a win. It’s just a matter of believing in ourselves,” Sakamoto said.

The women tied with Whitworth University for second place during the first round of the invitational. The team was bumped into third place with a score of 715 after the second day.

“As a team, we have been sort of struggling. We haven’t quite performed up to our ability. I hope this weekend we can show everyone what were capable of,” sophomore Brinn Hovde said.

Senior Brynn Hurdus tied for third place and led the team with a score of 147. Senior Katie Kilborn scored 182 and finished in 14th place. Hovde shot a score of 189 and tied for 19th. Both one stroke away from Hovde, freshman Ali Smith and junior Lydia Smith tied for 21st place.

As for the NWC Championships ahead, the team is hopeful.

“We’ve definitely been practicing really hard this week. We know this tournament counts more than anything else,” Hovde said. “We hope to get our scores pretty low so we can get back to where we know we can be.”

Ali Smith had similar positive thoughts about the coming weekend and the strength of the team.

“I think we have a pretty good chance playing well this weekend,” Ali Smith said. “We all encourage each other. Even when we’re having a tough day, we have the support of our team. It makes us all better players.”

The women’s NWC Championships will take place April 22 and 23 at Columbia Point in Richland, Wash., and the men will play at Canyon Lakes in Kennewick, Wash.

Kelsey Sutton/Staff reporter
Kelsey Sutton can be reached at

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