By James Warnick, UVU Assistant SID
PALM DESERT, CALIF. – Ana Raga led the Wolverines by shooting a 17-over-par 233, and the Utah Valley University women's golf team finished in sixth place to earn them a spot in the top half of the Wyoming Cowgirl Desert Intercollegiate at The Classic Club in Palm Desert, California on Sunday afternoon.
Raga was the top finisher for UVU and her performance earned her a tie for 19th place in the individual standings of the tournament. Raga's best round of the weekend came in round two on Saturday when she recorded a 4-over-par 76 for her second top-20 finish of the season. She also carded rounds of 79 and 78 as well a total of 36 pars and a pair of birdies on the weekend.
As a team, UVU finished in sixth place with a three-round total of 73-over-par (312-315-310). The Santa Clara Broncos won the tournament with a 34-over-par 898 (303-295-300). Trailing by just two strokes, Hawaii came in second with a 36-over-par 900 (299-301-300). Rounding out the top five was UC Riverside (313-306-306—922), Cal State Fullerton (314-306-305—925) and tournament-host Wyoming (312-309-306—927). The Wolverines edged seventh-place Montana by just one stroke (310-12-316—938), as well as CSUN (309-324-316—949), in-state rival Southern Utah (324-312-316—952), WAC foe CSU Bakersfield (316-331-318—965), UT Arlington (316-332-323—971) and North Dakota (338-336-324—998).
With a 3-under-par 69 in the final round, Kristin Le of Santa Clara took home individual medalist honors with a 3-over-par 219 (77-73-69).
"I'm pleased about beating some teams that we have not beaten before, as well as grateful for the experience on this kind of course. I believe we learned a lot," head UVU coach Dr. Sue Nyhus said. "Our whole team contributed to this success, and we will work to compete even better on challenging courses in the future."
Finishing next in line after Raga for the Wolverines was Carly Dehlin. Dehlin ended the tournament with a 19-over-par 235, which was good for a tie for 24th place. The junior got off to a strong start on Saturday by shooting a 6-over-par 77, and then finished the tournament with rounds of 80 and 78. Dehlin also sunk a total of five birdies at the event in addition to finding par on 29 of 56 holes.
Sophomores Justine Lauer and Isabella Lesa both finished the weekend with identical 21-over-par 237s to earn a share of 27th place. Lauer had her best round of the tournament on Sunday, shooting a 5-over-par 77 after recording a pair of 80s on Saturday. She also led UVU with six birdies throughout the competition. Likewise, Lesa had her best round on the final day of tournament play scoring a 77 in addition to a 78 and 82 in the opening rounds.
Rounding out the tournament for UVU was Keila Baladad, who played in her first competition outside of the state of Utah in her collegiate career. The freshman ended tournament play in a tie for 45th after scoring a 27-over-par 243 (78-79-86).
As a team, UVU carded 18 birdies throughout the tournament. The Wolverines also made par 154 times during the weekend, led by 36 from Raga and 31 from Lesa.
Utah Valley will now gear-up for the Pat Lesser Harbottle Invitational in Lakewood, Washington at the Tacoma Country Club. The two-day, 54-hole invitational will be hosted by WAC-rival Seattle U and will run from Monday, Oct. 16 through Tuesday, Oct. 17.