The University of the Fraser Valley women’s golf team scored a third place finish at the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate in Las Vegas this week, but felt it was ultimately a missed opportunity to take home the top prize.
The Cascades, taking on a field predominantly comprised of NAIA programs on March 15 and 16 at Reflection Bay Golf Club, found themselves in a three-way battle for the title during the final round. They were neck-and-neck with the Embry-Riddle Eagles, No. 7 in the NAIA national rankings, and the UBC Okanagan Heat.
The Cascades had a strong start on the front nine in the final round, rallying from third place to start the day to grab a slender lead midway through the back nine. But they struggled as a group on the finishing holes, slipping to third place with a team score of +87, trailing Embry-Riddle (+81) and UBC Okanagan (+85).
“This one stings, to be honest,” UFV head coach Cody Stewart said afterward. “We need to dig deeper when we get into those situations. There’s another gear we need to find if we’re going to win golf tournaments. We need to reflect on this and find a way to close tournaments out, because it was right there for us.”
The Cascades placed three golfers in the top 10 individually – Emery Bardock, Coral Hamade and Lucy Park each finished tied for seventh overall at +20 for the tournament. Bardock had UFV’s low round of the day Wednesday, firing an eight-over 80.
Alex Brunner (+27) finished T-18th, highlighted by a strong back-nine performance in the final round to help UFV make its push, and Ella Gifford (+36) was T-26th.
Up next for the Cascades women’s golf team is the UC-Santa Cruz Invite, March 25 to 27 in Pacific Grove, Calif.