COMEBACK ATTEMPT FALLS SHORT FOR WOMEN'S GOLF AT BIG SKY CHAMPIONSHIPS, TEAM FINISHES SECOND

COMEBACK ATTEMPT FALLS SHORT FOR WOMEN'S GOLF AT BIG SKY CHAMPIONSHIPS, TEAM FINISHES SECOND

BOULDER CITY, Nev. — It took a record-breaking performance to halt the Sacramento State women's golf team's run of three consecutive tournament titles. Idaho completed its wire-to-wire path to the Big Sky Conference championship on Sunday by shooting 5-under par as a team. The Vandals finished the tournament with a total 866 to set the tournament record by two strokes. The Hornets were even during the third round and finished in second place with a total of 876 which ranks as the fourth best in conference history. The team has now finished in second place in four of the last five years and has been the runner-up seven times since 2009.

Despite being ranked as high as 51st in NCAA Div. I and having won four tournament titles this season, the season likely came to a premature close for Sacramento State on Sunday. The Hornets have a slim shot of securing an at-large berth to the 64-team NCAA Regional field and will find out their fate on April 25 at 2:30 p.m. on the Golf Channel.

Sacramento State entered the final round trailing Idaho by five strokes. The team made an early charge and drew within three only to see the Vandals push their lead back to six stokes. Sacramento State's answered with a couple of birdies and were assisted by a handful of UI bogeys to get within a stroke midway through the back nine. However, that would prove to be as close as the team would get as Idaho distanced itself from the field over the final four holes to earn its second Big Sky women's golf title.

Junior Julia Becker led the Hornets with a 1-under par round of 71 and finished in third place at 73-69-71-213.The score is the eighth lowest in tournament history and is the best by a Sacramento State golfer at the event. Idaho's Sophie Hausmann set the tournament record by shooting 73-65-68-206 to become the medalist.

Becker blistered the first 14 holes of the third round with birdies on the par-4 third, par-3 eighth and 12th and par-5 13th to make her 4-under. However, a bogey on the par-4 14th and a double bogey on the par-4 15th dropped her to 1-under. The Las Vegas native responded with a birdie on the 16th but closed the event with a bogey on the par-4 18th.

Astha Madan moved into the top five of the tournament after shooting 72 and totaling 75-71-72-218. Madan had to overcome bogeys on the par-4 first and third holes and made the turn at 1-over with birdies on Nos. 5 and 7 and a bogey on No. 9. She parred eight holes on the back nine and added a birdie on the par-5 16th.

Freshman Corinne Viden had her best round of the three days with a even-par 72. Viden birdied the third hole and bogeyed the ninth to stand even at the midway point of her round. She started the back nine with three consecutive bogeys but rallied behind birdies on Nos. 13, 14 and 16. Viden finished tied for 20th with a three-round score of 77-77-72-226.

Nishtha Madan and Sofie Babic each shot 73 meaning all five members of the team ranged between 1-under par and 1-over during the third round. No other team had fifth-place score lower than 77 in the third round. Madan finished in ninth place overall at 78-70-73-221. She started slowly with bogeys on Nos. 1 and 2 but was aided by a pair of birdies on the front side to make the turn at 1-over. She had a pair of birdies and bogeys on the back nine.

Babic had her lowest round of the tournament and pulled into a tie for 20th place. The sophomore was 1-over on the front nine with a birdie on No. 5 and two bogeys. Her back nine featured three birdies, three pars and three bogeys.

TEAM STANDINGS
1. Idaho 296-287-283-866
2. Sacramento State 301-287-288-876
3. Portland State 296-294-289-879
4. Northern Arizona 306-294-291-891
5. Eastern Washington 306-289-299-894
6. Southern Utah 317-295-297-909
7. Montana 306-309-297-912
8. Montana State 315-301-304-920
9. Northern Colorado 315-305-307-927
T10. Weber State 321-311-312-944
T10. North Dakota 320-311-313-944
12. Idaho State 348-334-316-998

INDIVIDUAL TOP FIVE
1. Sophie Hausmann, UI, 73-65-68-206
2. Michelle Kim, UI, 71-71-68-210
3. Julia Becker, SAC, 73-69-71-213
4. Sofia Anokhina, NAU, 69-73-72-214
5. Astha Madan, SAC, 75-71-72-218

SACRAMENTO STATE SCORES
3. Julia Becker 73-69-71-213
5. Astha Madan 75-71-72-218
9. Nishtha Madan 78-70-73-221
T20. Sofie Babic 76-77–73-226
T20. Corinne Viden 77-77-72-226