Bobcat women’s golf finishes top five at Cougar Cup

The Bobcat women’s golf team’s fall season continued with a fifth place finish at the Cougar Cup in Pullman, Washington on Sept. 19-20.

The team finished third out of the Big Sky Conference teams competing in the tournament. Freshman Kelly Hooper led the team, placing tenth with a score of 220 over three rounds. The team is young, sporting three freshman, four sophomores, one junior and one senior.

Junior Jaylee Tait finished with a 223 over three rounds, sophomore Clare Dittemore finished with 225, senior Janelle Reali finished with a 226 and freshman Coral Schulz finished with a 239.

The Cats finished last season with an average of 303 strokes per round. They are currently sitting sub-300. Head Coach Brittany Basye is impressed with the team’s performance thus far. “The girls are hitting fairways and making birdies,” Basye said.

The Bobcats had a total of 43 birdies during the tournament which made a big difference in their final placing. Hooper accredits her success at the most recent tournament to being familiar with the course.

“I have played that course a lot before because it is only an hour and a half from my hometown [of Spokane],” Hooper said.

Bringing the momentum of this previous tournament into the future will be key for success at the team’s conference tournament in the spring. They are focusing their efforts on bunker (sand) shots as well as the 40-yard in-shots. Increasing the up and down percentage of the team will lead to more birdies and lower scores. “Triple bogeys and double bogeys are just simple mental mistakes that can be fixed,” Basye said. Hooper has her own plan for lower scores in the future, “A lot of strokes can be saved by making putts,” she said.

Generally game plans are not associated with the sport of golf. Before each tournament players decide how they want to play the course. They have to decide whether to hit a driver off of a hole or to back off and play it safe with a 4-iron. Having a mental game plan for course management is a strength of the Bobcat team.

The Bobcats’ next tournament is in Palm Desert, California on Oct. 1-2. As the name implies, the course is in the desert where the winds will be high and the greens dry. Knock-down shots as well as bunker play will be key areas to focus on for the tournament.

Any Bobcat fan, parent or golf lover can get live scoring updates from the tournaments at golfstat.com.