The Idaho women’s golf team worked its way up over the weekend, overtaking the competition in the final round to tie for first after three rounds. The run would end in a playoff, as the Vandals were unable to defend their title, getting edged out by Sacramento State at the Big Sky championship in Boulder City, Nevada.
Idaho and Sacramento State went into the playoff hole tied at 900 as a team. The Hornets ended the playoff with 16 strokes, compared to Vandals 18.
“We mounted a great comeback once again this year,” Idaho head coach Lisa Johnson said in a news release. “Hats off to Sacramento State for a solid performance. It’s heartbreaking to lose in a playoff after finishing the final round so strong.”
Sophomore Sophie Hausmann and freshman Clara Moyano led the Vandals, as they both shot 5-over-par 221 overall to tie for second out of 60 golfers.
Hausmann, a first-team all-conference selection and the 2016 Big Sky championship medalist, started slow but turned her play around in a big way. After shooting over-par on eight holes, leading to a 9-over-par 81 in round one, Hausmann flipped the switch, carding a 1-under 71 in round two — a round that featured an eagle on the 13th, a 531-yard par-5.
In round three, Hausmann shot a 3-under-par 69, tying for the lowest overall round throughout the tournament. Her third round would feature five birdies and an eagle on the 7th, a 377-yard par-4.
The front-9 of Moyano’s first round resembled that of Hausmann’s. The Big Sky second-teamer began the tournament with five bogies on the first nine holes, but quickly got back on track with a 1-under-par back nine to finish the first round at 3-over 75. She sat in second place after a red second round in which she holed five birdies, leading to a 1-under-par 71. Despite a 4-over-par third round, Moyano didn’t budge on the leaderboard.
Each golfer for Idaho balanced scores in the mid-70s for most the tournament and each of the five would place in the top 25.
Junior Kendall Gray tied for 11th overall, balancing out an 8-over-par 80 in the first round and a 7-over-par 79 in the third with a 1-under-par 71 in the second. Gray would hit par on 15 holes with two birdies and one bogey in the second.
Senior second team, all-conference golfer Amy Hasenoehrl finished tied for 17th overall, shooting mid-70s in all three rounds.
First team all-conference sophomore Michelle Kim struggled in the first round, shooting a 9-over-par 81. But with turnaround second and third rounds, in which she shot a 5-over 77 and 4-over 76 respectively, Kim ended the tournament tied for 24th with an 18-over 234.
The par-72, 6,395-yard course proved to be difficult for every golfer. No one could finish under-par overall, as the 80s were cracked by at least one player for every team. The Big Sky’s first-place medalist, Northern Arizona’s Sofia Anokhina, finished with a 2-over-par 218 overall. Anokhina would go into round three at 1-under, but a 3-over-par 75 in the third round would push her out of the red.
Throughout the season, five Vandals were honored as Golfer of the Week along with two first-team all-conference picks, two second-team choices and an honorable mention.
“The team had a phenomenal year,” Johnson said.
Colton Clark can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @coltonclark95