BYU golfers pleased with Hawaii fini



    On the tropical island of Oahu, Hawaii, the BYU women’s golf team pulled ahead to finish second place in the Rainbow Wahine Intercollegiate on March 26-28.

    “It was the best tournament of the year,” coach Craig Poole said.

    The Cougars stood in third place for the first two days, before scoring a third round of 298 to move in front of Texas. Arizona’s final score of 887 defeated BYU’s ending score of 913, but the Cougars were more than happy with their performance.

    “We played strong all three days,” Jamie Stevenson said. “All of our players put in good scores.”

    Teammate Stephanie Belnap put it simply: “We played really well.”

    With recent problems of inconsistency, the women were excited about their consistent team performance.

    All five BYU golfers shot scores in the 70s during the final round. Catalina Navarro was the top scorer with 73, and Belnap, Susanne Gillemo, Ai Lian Lim, and Stevenson all had final rounds of 75.

    Belnap finished sixth and Gillemo placed eighth in the over-all.

    “We decided to make things happen,” Stevenson said.” It was time that we did.”

    Patients seemed to be the key.

    “I told coach Howard to be patient, and let it happen — and it came,” Belnap said. “We need to stay patient with ourselves and stay patient with the course.”

    The team’s strong performance helped to build its confidence.

    “We beat teams that were ranked above us,” Belnap said. “It was a good competition and it brought us confidence for the next conference.”

    Concentration and preparation for the meet was not all serious. The women did take off a little time to enjoy the beauty of Hawaii.

    Snorkeling, hikes, a trip to the Polynesian Cultural Center and an escorted tour of fighter jets were only a few of the adventures the golfers took to escape from the greens.

    The team is excited about the progress it has made, and the Cougars hope to hold on to their new found consistency.

    “We brought in the kind of scores we need to make it to nationals,” Belnap said.

    “We still have areas to improve on but we took a step forward,” Howard said. “And it came at a good time.”

    Nationals is a goal the team is shooting for, but coming up first is the WAC Championship.

    The team will travel to St. George and compete in the Dixie Classic on April 8-9.

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