September 20, 2011

Eagles Wrap Up Tournament Play from Pullman

Junior Morgan Lee posts career-best score on challenging Palouse Ridge course

Despite a less than favorable team finish, the Eastern Washington University women's golf team had plenty of positives to take away from its second event of the 2011 fall season. The Eagles finished 13th out of 13 at the WSU Cougar Cup, held Monday (Sept. 19) and Tuesday (Sept. 20) at the Palouse Ridge Golf Club in Pullman, Wash.

After enduring some wild winds in the first round, Eastern finished with a cumulative team effort of 983 (339-321-323). Although very young, the Eagles did get a glimpse of the versatility on this year's roster, as a different player led the team in each of the three rounds.

Junior Morgan Lee was the top performer for EWU with a career-best 54-hole score of 237 (82-78-77). She placed 44th out of 86 total competitors, and ranked among the top 20 players in Par-5 scoring.

Lee's total score of 237 actually tied that of Portland State's Britney Yada, who is the defending Big Sky champion. The Vikings, who shot a total team score of 957, finished just one spot ahead of Eastern at the event.

Lee has now posted a career-best score in the first two outings of the 2011 season.

"Morgan did a great job hitting the greens," said EWU head coach Brenda Howe. "This was a very challenging course, and I was really impressed with how well she managed her way around it."

Senior Neddy Martinez also had a strong showing, as she carded a career-low 74 to lead the Eagles in the second round at Palouse Ridge. Martinez finished the tournament with a total score of 247 (89-74-84), but her second-round effort of 74 was among the top 15 scores turned in by any player in the first day of competition.

"We had worked a lot on Neddy's swing this week in practice," said Howe. "She executed really well on the course and we hope that this was kind of a turning point for her. If we can just get Neddy to relax and get out of her own head, I think she can continually shoot low scores like she did in the second round of this one."

In the blustery first round, the Eagles were led by freshman Caitilin Rice, who carded a 79. The Seattle, Wash., native ended up with a total score of 252 (79-89-84) - good for a share of 77th place.

Junior Jayme Carbon showed steady improvement throughout the event, as she carded a 90-81-78 (249) to finish tied for 73rd on the individual leaderboard.

Rounding out the Eagle roster was sophomore Sara Callagy, who shot a three-round of 263 (89-88-86).

Of the 13 teams competing at the event in Pullman, four were from the Pac-12 Conference and five hailed from the Big Sky. Idaho, UC Irvine, Nevada and Gonzaga were also in attendance. Washington won the team title by 12 strokes over Stanford. Sacramento State tied for seventh, while Montana, Montana State, Portland State and Eastern finished 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th, respectively.

Eastern will play in its third event this month when it travels to Portland, Ore., next Monday (Sept. 26) and Tuesday (Sept. 27) for the Rose City Collegiate.

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