Women’s golf makes season debut at WSU Cougar Cup

State Hornet Staff

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Sacramento State women’s golf wrapped up its first tournament of the season at WSU Cougar Cup Monday, Sept. 22, placing seventh overall (296-307-312-915) with only four women competing.

The already diminished team was without senior Lexie Hall after she withdrew from the competition citing an illness. Hall attempted to play a few holes on Monday but was unable to gather physical energy to continue.

Coach David Sutherland explained the difficulty of having only four athletes compete in a tournament requiring five players.

“We ended up playing four or five [players] the whole week, which is really hard, it’s just like playing without your point guard,” Sutherland said. “Once you stop playing four and five you really stop focusing on a team score because it’s really hard to compete.”

In a positive spot, true freshman Katie Dunaway lead the Hornets in the first round of the tournament shooting one-under-par. This is a program record for Sac State women’s golf as Dunaway was the first to card the lowest second round score as a freshman. She made her collegiate debut in the No. 5 position for the squad and finished with a score of 71-77-79-27, tying for 21st.

“Katie was really happy that she was able to come out and shoot one-under-par,” Sutherland said.

Chloe Bartek carried the best score for the women in the first two rounds of the tournament, carding a 73-72-78-223 to place her tied for 12th. The sophomore recorded the best overall performance for the Hornet team. This was an improvement from her first collegiate start last season at 2013 WSU Cougar Cup in which she shaved 14 strokes off of her score.

Senior Sagee Palavivatana carded a final round of 75 and provided the best finish out of women Tuesday afternoon. In her final first appearance at Sac State the senior recorded rounds 77-84-75-236 and tied for 45th place. Palavivatana is also recovering from illness, but was able to compete in the tournament.

“I wanted to perform better in the first round, but I guess I felt a little rusty, which is no excuse but I wish I would’ve performed a little bit better,” Palavivatana said. “I had a big number on one of the holes so that didn’t help my score either.”

The senior said in her inability to get practice rounds in before leaving for the tournament is what affected her performance the most.

“After this past week’s tournament as I’m starting to get ahold of things again I think it will slowly come back to me on performing well and being competitive [with] the energy level,“ Palavivatana said. “As a team I still feel very confident; I feel as though this week showed what we could possibly bring to the table and it’s all positive and all good.”

Junior Rockelle Sande tied for 26th overall after shooting rounds of 75-74-80-229.

The field comprised of nine teams, including BYU, Idaho, Eastern Washington, Montana, Montana State, Portland State, Sac State, Seattle and Washington State.

Washington State hosted the tournament and took home the honor of the cup title after building a commanding 16 stroke lead over second place BYU. The Hornets finished 48 strokes behind the first place Cougars.

The team is staying strong heading into their tournament this weekend and Sutherland believes the outcome will be different once they are able to utilize all five players.

“I thought the energy was great,” Sutherland said. “I feel really positive about it; we had four gals playing every round, we had 12 scores amongst those four gals, two of them were in the eighties, a vast majority of them were in the mid to low seventies.”

Senior Nicolette Bondura will be making her first appearance this season on Saturday and will be joined by Bartek, Dunaway, Palavivatana and Sande. Hall will be staying home to recover from illness.

Sac State women’s golf will be competing on Sept. 27 at the Cowgirl Desert Intercollegiate in Palm Desert, Calif.