The Sacramento State women’s golf team’s record-breaking final round at Boulder Creek Golf Club was not quite enough, as the team finished second behind the University of Idaho Vandals by a single stroke, 868-869, in the Big Sky Conference championship on Wednesday in Boulder City, Nevada.
The Hornets entered the final round five strokes out of first but surged to the top of the leaderboard before the final hole of the tournament when Idaho’s Sophie Hausmann put Sac State away.
Hausmann ended up finishing tied for first in the tournament with a three-round total of 212, just five strokes ahead of Sac State sophomore Astha Madan and junior Chloe Bartek.
Head Coach David Sutherland was happy with the performance the team put forth and the resolve that they showed in their comeback attempt.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the gals,” Sutherland said. “They played absolutely fabulous golf and certainly competed to the best of their ability. It was certainly disappointing a little bit at the end there, but it’s nothing we can’t feel really good about.”
Although the Hornets could not pull off the comeback, they finished with a school-record three-round score of 869, blowing the previous record of 882 out of the water.
Madan and Bartek’s matching scores of 217 placed them tied for fourth in school history and led the Hornets to an improbable comeback against a very good Idaho team. Sutherland said that the team’s mindset was the same as it has been all season, going into the final round.
“For us, it’s really just understanding that we want to play until the end and not get ahead of ourselves,” Sutherland said. “Our philosophy all year long has always been that we want to have good energy and be ready to play when we go out there. It wasn’t a different philosophy today. We just played really well.”
This was the second consecutive season that the Hornets finished as the runner-up as a result of slipping on the final hole of the tournament, but Sutherland believes these close losses are not the result of sub-par play.
“I take a lot of pride in the fact that we’re always right there,” Sutherland said. “Yes, we finished second in the last three years; we’ve lost to three different teams, but I think we’ve been the best team those three years.”
With the conference championship being the last tournament of the season, the Hornets will lose seniors Rockelle Sande, who will finish as one of the top five women’s golfers in school history, and Natalie Bodnar.
Sutherland knows that he is losing two valuable members of the team but is confident that the team will successfully fill the shoes that Sande and Bodnar are leaving empty.
“Both of them are great leaders,” Sutherland said, “but we have four gals coming back from this top five that will be likely back here next year and ready to win tournaments.”
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