CSU women’s golf battles back in Tucson, men have middling week

Mack Beaulieu

After being ranked earlier in the year, the Colorado State men’s golf team had another average week between March 23-27 while the women were able to dig themselves out of a hole for one of their best finishes of the season in the Mountainview Collegiate tournament.

Female college golfer swinging driver
Junior Katrina Prendergast drives the ball during the fall season in 2017. (Photo courtesy of CSU Athletics)

The men started out by splitting a dual match with the University of Denver on March 23 before heading to Oregon on Monday to ultimately finish seventh in the Oregon Duck Invitational. The women had a rough, wind-whipped second round in Tucson, Arizona before coming back with a team round of 2-under 286 to finish sixth.

Ad

CSU’s dual match was as close as it could get with DU up until the final hole, when freshman Parathakorn Suyasri tied DU’s John Sand to round up the match at 2.5-2.5. In dual play, individual golfers match up by team rank and the team with the most wins out of five wins the match. Without a new addition to their top 5 last weekend, CSU may have lost.

Freshman Jack Ainscough made his first collegiate team start and didn’t disappoint for the Rams as he took on DU’s number two golfer and won with a score of 5&3. The Rams’ fourth golfer, senior Max Oelfke, won as well with a score of 4&3, but sophomore AJ Ott and junior Jake Staiano both dropped their matches to bring the day to a tie.

While the men were playing one round, the women’s golf team kicked off their tournament in Tucson with a solid first round. Junior Ellen Secor and sophomore Katrina Prendergast were back to leading the team, after two big tournaments from freshman Haley Greb, with a par 72 and a 1-under 71 respectively.

“(Greb) just wasn’t driving the ball particularly well,” coach Annie Young said. “She had a couple penalties that really derailed some good rounds. She came back strong…and the good thing about Greb is she’s gonna work at it. She’ll be ready to go next tournament.”

The team finished the day seven strokes out of first and couldn’t have anticipated what came next, as winds were close to 20 miles per hour on Saturday and the Rams suffered in it heavily.

“We’re in the spring and we seem to keep hitting those extremely windy days,” Young said. “If you got the right draw, and went from the front to the back, it was a much easier golf course, but that’s golf. Sometimes that happens and you just have to deal with it.”

Most of the field faltered in the wind, but the Rams did especially as they shot a team score of 24-over 312. A 2-over 74 from Secor in the round dropped her one spot to 11th while Prendergast shot a 7-over 79 to drop her all the way to 22nd. The team dropped to tenth after the miserable day, but Sunday’s final round helped put the day in perspective.

As a team, the Rams shot an exemplary team score of 2-under 286 for the final round and pushed their way back up to sixth on the leaderboard to close out the tournament. Prendergast had one of the best rounds of the tournament with a 3-under 69 and was one of four Rams to have their best day of the weekend.

“An under-par round, I don’t care if you’re playing a pitch and putt,” Young said. “An under-par round as a team is always good.”

It was a refreshing outcome for the Rams, who’ve struggled to get back in tournaments after bad rounds earlier in the season.

Ad

“It’s always easy in golf to say, ‘Oh, we shoulda-coulda,’” Young said. “They know that on those windy days we gotta play better. But what’s different about this week is we bounced back the next day very, very nicely…We did a heck of a job doing that.”

The men picked up again on Monday in the Oregon Duck Invitational and while none of the golfers had a terrible tournament, they couldn’t put together any rounds where the whole team thrived.

Suyasri, Ott and Staiano shot high in the first round. In the second round, Ainscough scored five strokes worse than his first round score and in the final round on Tuesday, Oelfke coughed up his worst score of the tournament.

Ultimately, Oelfke and Ainscough led the way again as they both tied for 14th at 1-over 217 and the team was just consistent enough to stay in the top half of the field as the team averaged 40th place among 88 golfers.

The CSU men’s golf team will play next in the Western Intercollegiate from April 7-8, while the women play at the Bryant National from April 6-8.

Collegian reporter Mack Beaulieu can be reached online at sports@collegian.com or on twitter @Macknz_James