By Angela Halafuka
The Cougar golf team hasn”t had the best weather in the first two tournaments of this spring season, but finally had fantastic weather in Goodyear, Ariz. The Bobcat Desert Classic was the first tournament according to Head Coach Sue Nyhus that the Cougars played together well as a team.
“We were on track and we didn”t finish as well as we would have liked to as a team, but we learned from it, and I think this will vault us to a victory next week.”
Juniors Margaret Gibby and Natalie Newren-Chandler tied for the top score for BYU with a nine-over-par 149 and they led the team to a third place finish, matching their best finish of the 2003-2004 campaign. The Cougars had the best score after the first round of play, with a team total of 301, which put them in position to win the tournament. Amazingly enough, two teams finished only one shot better on the final day of play to beat the Cougars” 598 total. Boise State (303-294–597) and Western Michigan (307-290–597) were the teams that conquered that feat.
Coach Nyhus said she is proud of the team”s effort and added Gibby, Newren-Chandler and Rachel Newren were the bright spots on the team. Newren said she was excited about tying her career-low single round record with an even-par 72 on the last 18 holes.
“It feels good; we work together really well as a team, and we all worked hard and contributed, and I think we were all a lot more focused,” Newren said.
The Bobcat Classic, although held in Goodyear, Ariz., is a two-day, 36-hole event hosted by Montana State and played at the 6,050-yard, par-72 course at the Palm Valley Golf Club.
Gibby (75-74–149), a junior, has been a consistent player according to Coach Nyhus. Gibby, along with the rest of the team, feel they have a good chance at making nationals this year.
“I really played solid, and I know that I am capable of playing well,” Gibby said.
Although, Newren-Chandler (79-74–153) finished in 26th place, she has consistently scored in the seventies the majority of her college career and is proud of her and the team”s performance at the Bobcat Classic.
“We played really well as a team,” Newren-Chandler said. “Our motto is: Do it for the team.”
That”s exactly what Newren-Chandler has done and will continue to do until her career is finished in May 2004.
The Cougars won”t have much time to catch up with school and rest before they leave to compete against a tough field at the Anteater Invitational March 15-16 in Irvine, Calif.