The Idaho men’s golf team wrapped up the fall portion of its season over Halloween weekend at the Warrior Princeville Makai Invitational in Princeville, Hawaii in a spooky fashion. The Vandals finished 20th, shooting a combined 906, two strokes behind the host-team Hawaii Rainbow Warriors.
Although Idaho shot high as a team, junior Enrique Marin tied for 32nd out of 113 golfers, shooting an overall 4-under 212. Marin was tied for 13th after dropping only one bogey in the first round, ending the day with a 3-under 69. Marin played stable golf throughout three rounds, often answering midday cold streaks with birdie runs.
“I’m extremely pleased with how Enrique has been playing,” Idaho head coach David Nuhn said in a news release. “Our guys need to not be content with shooting even par. We need to go out there and believe in what we’re capable of.”
In a tournament featuring three ranked teams — Wake Forest (9), UCLA (22) and Missouri (24) – Idaho struggled immensely to find even-marks on the beautiful ocean-side but hilly 7223-yard, par-72 northern Kauai course. Only four rounds were finished at or below par, three coming from Marin.
Nuhn said the competition in the tournament was tremendous.
“This field is full of players who are really close to making the jump to playing professional golf,” Nuhn said. “It’s great for our guys to be able to come out here and compete with teams and players of this caliber.”
Senior Hayden Ritter shot par-72 in round three, fending off a 3-over score midway through the round with a flurry of birdies and an eagle on the back-nine.
Ritter capped off the tournament in style, dropping an eagle on the final hole, a 567-yard par-5 to finish the tournament tied for 93rd with the second best Idaho score, a 9-over 225.
Louisville took home the gold, finishing as a team with an overall 808. The Cardinals’ Simon Zach and Matthias Schmid finished first and tied for third, respectively. Zach took home medalist honors over the weekend, rolling over the majority of competition with an overall 21-under 195.
While also finishing tied for third, Georgia Southern’s Steve Fisk had the low-round on the tournament, breaking the course record in the process with a 12-under 60 in round two.
After a long winter hiatus, Vandal men’s golf returns for the second half of the season in February at the Pro Compression Invitational in San Diego.
Idaho women’s golf closed out the fall season at the UC Irvine Invitational at California’s Santa Ana Country Club over Halloween weekend, turning in all-around impressive performances to finish fourth out of 11 teams. The Vandals consistently shot in the 70s, recording 13 of their 15 total rounds in that range.
Junior Sophie Hausmann took home runner-up honors, finishing all three rounds under-par and sinking a 20-foot birdie putt on the final hole to edge out Long Beach State’s Euna Pak by one stroke.
Hausmann turned in a 6-under 210 overall through three rounds, carding 14 birdies throughout. Her best round came in the second, as she finished the front-nine at 4-under par after a slew of early birdies. Hausmann began the back-nine with a double-bogey, but quickly got back on track with two subsequent birdies, finishing the round with a 3-under 69.
Two other Vandal golfers, junior Michelle Kim and freshman Valeria Patino, finished within the top 30 in a tournament featuring 70 participants. The 6129-yard par-72 course, featuring two large water-hazards right in its center, bode well for the majority of golfers, as none shot in the 90s.
Kim struggled in the beginning, finishing the front-nine in round one at 5-over. She quickly regained confidence and finished the back-nine with just one blue mark.
In her second round, Kim finished with a 1-under 71. She ended her front-nine at that same mark, but after trading back-and-forth between birdies and bogies on the back-nine, she found herself in the same position. Kim ended the tournament tied for 21st, shooting a 9-over 225.
“We definitely improved as the fall went on. We improved in some key areas: ball striking, club selections on approach shots,” Head Coach Lisa Johnson said in a news release. “The last two events we definitely saw ourselves shoot some better numbers so that’s encouraging heading into the offseason.”
Long Beach State snatched the team-victory, finishing with three players in the top-15 and two strokes above Pepperdine with a 15-over 879 as a team.
Colorado State’s Katrina Prendergast was medalist, shooting an overall 9-under 207. She parred three of the last four holes in round three to finish with a 1-under 71 a day after carding a 6-under 66.
After a break for winter, Idaho women’s golf returns at The Gold Rush tournament Feb. 12 and 13 in Long Beach, Calif.
Colton Clark can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @coltonclark95