Sept. 9, 2007
The Eastern Washington University women's golf team kicks off its 2007-08 season in Fort Collins, Colo., at the Ptarmigan Ram Fall Classic. The tournament will take place at the Ptarmigan Country Club on Monday and Tuesday (Sept. 10 and 11). Live stats will be available at www.golfstat.com.
"At this point, our season is one big question mark," head coach Marc Hughes said. "We have four new players, and don't know where we are at yet. I will have a better feel after we compete a few times. That said, Chloe (Nelson), Marli (Mikulecky) and Chelsey (Lollar) are very solid Big Sky players. I'm hopeful that as the year progresses, we will become a team that will contend for the conference championship. We are young and need to get our feet wet, so the fall season should be interesting."
The Eagles will compete at this week's tournament with Big Sky teams Montana State, Portland State and Weber State, local Inland Northwest rivals Gonzaga, Idaho and Washington State, as well as Baylor, BYU, California, Campbell, Colorado, Colorado State, Fresno State, Long Beach State, Nevada, San Jose State, Texas Tech, UTEP and Wyoming.
In last year's Ptarmigan Ram Fall Classic, Chloe Nelson finished in a third-place tie with a 215 (70-71-74), while the Eagles as a team finished in a sixth-place tie. Colorado won the team title.
"I'm starting my 10th year here at Eastern, and this team on paper is one my better young squads," Hughes said. "Aside from being great kids, Chloe, Marli and Chelsey are a talented three players to have back. We compete with five, though, so we are dependent on the younger players contributing. I will keep things as light as possible throughout the fall to let them get their feet wet. Hopefully, by the time the conference championship comes around in April, the Eastern Eagle golf team will be a competitive factor."
Following the tournament at Colorado State, the Eagles return home and will co-host the Inland Empire Women's Intercollegiate with Gonzaga from Sept. 24-25. That will take place at Hangman Valley Golf Course in Spokane.
Quotes from Hughes on each player
Senior Chelsey Lollar: "She is my lone senior and has established herself as an important role player in the program. She's capable of going low at any time. It will be important for her to compartmentalize her life, as she is also going to graduate in the spring. She has been a great player, and I'm hopeful her senior year will be a special one."
Junior Marli Mikulecky: "Marli is a consummate college golfer who strikes the ball beautifully. Like most college golfers, where she's at emotionally will have more to do with her results than the actual swinging of the club. She works hard and wants it badly, and those types of people generally find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I'm now sure when that will come for her, but it will."
Junior Chloe Nelson: "Chloe is, at this point, trying to win tournaments and expects to be in the top 10 or 20 each week. She is very good and capable of winning. If she takes ownership of the `commitment' piece of golf and keeps the emotional aspects of life in check, then she will have a great year. Her understanding of those aspects will ultimately determine her year, because the physical golf part is very good."
Junior Ines Pantoli: "Ines comes to us from France (after playing past two years at Tyler Junior College), and she will be a nice addition to the team. She has not dealt with a Cheney winter before, so it will be important for her to stay busy when the snow flies. She will compete for a spot on our travel roster almost immediately, and I look for her to have a solid year for us."
Freshman Kristina Gargaro: "Kristina played a ton this summer around Canada and some in the U.S. That experience will serve her well, and I think she will be a candidate to make the travel roster. As a freshman, she will have to learn to manage her time well if she wants to be successful. That will have a greater impact on how she plays than probably anybody else."
Freshman Kellie Holmstedt: "Kellie doesn't have a lot of national experience, but she is a competitor. She is a multi-sport letter winner (in high school) who has never been a competing part of her team. That alone will motivate her. Learning how to compete in golf will take some time, but I'm throwing her in the mix anyway. She's a great kid with maturity who is not going to lay around on weekends. She badly wants to travel and compete for the Eagles, so it would not surprise me to see her in the lineup by the end of the season."
Freshman Kylie Ray: "Kylie was a late addition to my team who won her (Oregon) state tournament last year. She knows how to win, which will go a long way for her. She will need to hit the ball a little further, which I will help develop, but she also has the potential to add to our team."