MISSOULA, Mont. – Both the Westminster College men’s and women’s golf teams found themselves in third place after the first day of the Frontier Conference Championships. The first two rounds of the tournament were played in heavy winds and rain at the Larchmont Golf Course on Monday.
With the Westminster men looking to follow-up its first-ever tournament victory, the Griffins shot 302 in the opening round. The Griffins followed that by shooting 310 in the second round for a opening day total of 612. Frontier Conference regular season champion Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) holds the lead after the first day with a total score of 593 during the opening two rounds. Lewis-Clark State shot 292 in the first round to take the early lead. Carroll (Mont.) is in second place with a score of 601 after the first day.
Alex Howlett anchored the Griffins on day one by shooting 72-77 for a total of 149 in the two rounds. Howlett is coming off his first top-10 finish of the season at the Westminster Invitational two weeks back and sits in a tie for fifth entering Tuesday’s final round.
Dane Jensen shot 150 on the first day after matching 75’s in each round. Jensen won the conference regular season title for the second straight year and is six shots off the lead. Matt Bushman finished at 156 after an opening round 76 while Robert McKee went 79-78 to finish at 157. Tanner Kopan finished with 162 strokes with a 79 in the first round.
The Griffin women sit in third behind a first day total of 682. They posted a 334 in the first round, which is the seventh-best round of the season for the team. That was followed with them shooting 348 in round two to hold the third position. LCSC leads the women’s side after scoring 646 in the two rounds. The regular season champions hold a 14 stroke lead over Rocky Mountain (Mont.) entering Tuesday.
Jenteal Jackson led the way for the Griffins on Monday with her two-round total of 164. Jackson had an opening round 81, which she followed with an 83 in the afternoon. Brandi Bork was one stroke behind Jackson at 165 after going 82-83 on the day. Mari Hutsi finished at 167, which featured an 81 in the first round. Amy Krommenhoek shot 90 in the morning to lead to a 186 for the day.
Daniel Thompsett of Rocky Mountain holds the lead in the men’s event after the first day at 144. Thompsett used a second-round 70 to take the lead after the first day. Taylor Ratliff from Carroll also shot 70 in the second round to finish tied for second with Rylee Iacolucci of LCSC at 146.
Carroll’s Jackie Mee leads on the women’s side with 154 strokes. Mee shot a tournament-low 74 in the first round, which was one of just three rounds in the 70’s for the entire field on Monday. Idah Whisenant of LCSC is in second after shooting 79 in the afternoon to finish at 160. Her teammate Heather Bruce used a 77 in the first round to finish at 162 to place third.
The final round begins at 8 a.m. with a shotgun start. The teams that win this event will earn an automatic invite to the NAIA National Championships next month.