Many times, college freshmen golfers don’t play in their team’s first invitational of the fall season. If they do, coaches usually don’t expect them to shoot the lowest score on the team.
Idaho freshman Sophie Hausmann led the Vandals to a 10th-place finish at the Ptarmigan Ram Classic Tuesday in Fort Collins, Colorado. The invite started Monday.
Hausmann tied for 11th individually out of the 90 golfers who competed.
“(I’m) extremely impressed with how well Sophie played in her first collegiate event,” Idaho coach Lisa Johnson said. “She played as I expected she would.”
Johnson said Hausmann has a calm demeanor when she plays and that demeanor will take her far.
Hausmann fired a 5-over-par 221 in the three-round invite.
The Vandals will stay close to home next week as they compete at the Washington State Cougar Cup Monday and Tuesday at Palouse Ridge Golf Club in Pullman.
The Vandals practice at the UI Golf Course and at Palouse Ridge on a regular basis, so Johnson said it’s a big advantage for Idaho to compete on a golf course that it practices on regularly.
“We know the golf course extremely well,” Johnson said. “We play the course well … I know that as a team we can shoot under par on that golf course. We’re deep enough in our lineup this year to do that consistently. It’s a matter of managing our expectations and managing our emotions for the 36-hole day and into the final round.”
Johnson said she will change the lineup slightly when Idaho competes at the WSU Cougar Cup. She said freshman Michelle Kim will be in the lineup but she isn’t sure who is going to be the number five player between junior Amy Hasenoehrl and sophomore Kendall Gray. Johnson said Wednesday that Hasenoehrl and Gray were going to compete for the five spot in an 18-hole playoff Thursday at Palouse Ridge.
Johnson said schools like British Columbia, Montana, Montana State, Seattle University, Fresno State, California State Fullerton and Eastern Washington will play at the Cougar Cup.
As for the Ptarmigan Ram Classic, Idaho senior Cassie McKinley shot the second lowest score on the team. She tied for 31st shooting a 10-over-par 226.
“I’m also very proud of Cassie for all the work she put in this summer,” Johnson said. “She improved her scores tremendously since last year. I believe she was 12 or 14 strokes better than last year at this event. That’s just a testament to her hard work over the summer.”
The Vandals shot a 39-overpar 903.
“Our ball striking was excellent,” Johnson said. “We made great strides in trying out shots around the greens. We were a little bit more creative with our short game which was encouraging to see. We didn’t always execute it as well as we could but at least we tried to put some new shots into play which will benefit us in the long run.”
Out of the 17 teams in the field, 14 of them, including Idaho, shot their worst round in the final round.
Johnson said strong winds factored into the high scores in the third round.
BYU won the invite posting a 12-over-par 876.
Garrett Cabeza can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @CabezaGarrett