After 36 holes of play at the Grand Canyon Women's Spring Invitational at the Wigwam Resort Gold Golf Course in Litchfield Park, Ariz., Utah Valley junior Brooke Whittaker finds herself tied for ninth heading into Tuesday's final round.
Whittaker sits in the top 10 after carding 9-over 153 during Monday's first two rounds of play. The junior from St. George, Utah, began the tournament by firing a 78 during Monday morning's opening round and followed that up with a 75 during the afternoon's second session. Whittaker sank seven birdies on the day with three coming in the morning and four more in the afternoon.
"Brooke looked good today," UVU head coach Sue Nyhus said. "She had a tough finish to her first round or she'd probably be in the top three. In the afternoon she bounced back, however, by closing the second round with two birdies on the final three holes."
As a team the Wolverines, who are competing in their first tournament since late October, will enter Tuesday's final round in 11th place with a combined total of 658. Northern Arizona leads the tournament with 603, while Santa Clara sits in second (611) and host GCU in third (612). UVU will enter the final 18 just five stokes back of 10th-place Weber State (653).
Behind Whittaker, freshman Monica Yeates is next for UVU as she sits in a tie for 36th place at 18-over (162). Junior Hannah Herman (tied for 57th), freshman Kimberly Nyhus (tied for 66th) and sophomore Cassandra Lesa (tied for 75th) round out Utah Valley's five-member team with respective scores of 171 (85 and 86), 173 (82 and 91) and 180 (90 and 90).
Junior Heather Mathison and sophomore Kalea Heu, who are playing the tournament as individuals, will enter Tuesday tied for 66th and 83rd, respectively, with scores of 173 (89 and 84) and 191 (98 and 93).
"Monica was steady all day and shows promise as a solid contributor," Nyhus said. "Everyone else had some good shots and stretches of holes. There were some real signs of growth from our young team."
The final 18 holes of the Invitational will begin with a shotgun start Tuesday at 8:15 a.m.
Following the conclusion of the GCU Invite, Utah Valley will remain in Arizona to take part at NAU's Red Rocks Invitational on Saturday and Sunday in Sedona.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com.