What a start to the season. I am absolutely thrilled with how everyone performed. The girls were truly attacking the golf course and putting pressure on the course. —Dr. Sue Nyhus
Behind a pair of top-10 finishes from juniors Ana Raga and Carly Dehlin, the Utah Valley University women's golf team shattered the program's 54-hole school record with a 28-over-par 880 en route to posting a third-place finish out of 12 teams at the 2017 Hobble Creek Fall Classic at Hobble Creek Golf Course in Springville.
The 28-over 880 is 32 strokes better than the previous 54-hole team school record of 912 that was previously set at the 2016 WAC Championship.
"What a start to the season. I am absolutely thrilled with how everyone performed," said head UVU coach Dr. Sue Nyhus. "The girls were truly attacking the golf course and putting pressure on the course. It wasn't just one or two individuals, it was the whole team."
UVU not only set the 54-hole program record but also the 18-hole school record on Tuesday by posting an impressive 4-over-par 288 during the tournament's final round. The 288 marked the best team score of the day and tied for the second-best team score of the entire tournament. The Wolverines also set the 36-hole school record on Monday with a two-round total of 24-over 592. In all, Utah Valley carded all three of its scores under 300 for the first time in program history with scores of 299, 293 and 288.
"Our freshmen showed a lot of grit. All three of them had great outings," said Nyhus. "We also had some great performances from our upperclassmen, and I'm very pleased with how everyone performed. They really tore up the course today by posting the lowest round of the day."
Raga led the way for the Wolverines by placing sixth overall with a 1-over-par 214. The 1-over 214 is also a 54-hole individual school record for UVU. After carding a 2-over 73 and an even-par 71 on Monday, Raga saved her best round for last by recording a career-best 1-under-par 70 on Tuesday. The Wolverine junior led the entire Hobble Creek Classic field by tallying a total of 43 pars at the two-day event.
Dehlin finished right behind Raga by placing seventh overall with a 3-over-par 216. After carding a 5-over 76 and a career-best 2-under 69 on Monday, Dehlin capped her opening season tournament with an even-par 71 on Tuesday. The UVU junior led the Wolverines at the event by recording total of 11 birdies.
Sophomore Kaylee Shimizu and freshman Keila Baladad were next for the Wolverines by tying for 24th and 29th, respectively. Shimizu recorded a 13-over 226 with scores of 77, 74 and 75, while Baladad finished with a 16-over 229 by tallying scores of 75, 82 and a 1-over 72 during her first collegiate tournament.
Fellow sophomore Justine Lauer rounded out UVU's field of five by tying 48th place with a 22-over 235 (75-79-81).
Individuals Bailey Henley, Isabella Lesa and Dallas Christoffersen too played well for the Wolverines at the event by placing 29th, 48th and 68th, respectively. Henley was the highest finishing individual at the tournament by tying for 29th with a 16-over 229 (74-82-73), while Lesa posted a 235 (83-75-77) and Christoffersen a 248 (77-93-78).
Fellow WAC foe New Mexico State won the event with a 14-over 866 (288-288-290), while Oral Roberts finished three shots back for second place with a 17-over 869 (285-289-295). With the third-place finish, the Wolverines finished ahead of Grand Canyon (290-298-303—891), Sam Houston State (301-296-294—891), Northern Colorado (297-303-296—896), Little Rock (300-294-307—901), Weber State (306-295-302—903), Southern Utah (311-304-299—914), UT Rio Grande Valley (299-311-312—922), North Dakota (313-309-309—931) and CSU Bakersfield (324-310-299—933).
NM State's Pun Chanachai earned individual medalist honors at the tournament with a 9-under-par 204 (69-66-69), while GCU's Deanna Salvatori took second at 6-under (69-69-69—207) and Sam Houston State's Hannah Alberto finished third at 3-under (72-68-70—210).
The Wolverines are now off until Sept. 25 and 26, when they'll head to Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the Mark Allen ORU Shootout at Meadowbrook Country Club.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit GoUVU.com.