MARICOPA, ARIZ -- With sophomore Barbora Bakova back in the fold, the Montana women’s golf team shot a final-round 303 Tuesday to close out the Wyoming Cowgirl Classic tied for 14th.
Bakova, who has the team’s best scoring average, missed Monday’s two rounds with strep throat. At less than full health, she fired a 76 on Tuesday, and her return sparked Montana to card four scoring rounds of 77 or better.
“It was good to have her back. We’re a team, and we go out on the course as a team," said Montana coach Joni Stephens. "When you’re one man short, it’s a different feeling. They all depend on each other."
Sophomore Alexa Schendelman (72-76-74--222) shot a 2-over 74 on Tuesday to finish in a tie for 13th, the same spot as senior Tara Green (71-75-76--222), who matched Bakova’s 76 Tuesday.
Sophomore Amanda Kahn (80-75-77--232) closed with a 77, giving the Grizzlies nine rounds at the tournament of 77 or better.
“We gave up a few strokes coming in that we really shouldn’t have, but it was a very good day of golf,” said Stephens. “We’ve got a few things to work on as we head into conference, but this tournament showed us a lot, both where we are right now and what we’re capable of.”
Montana finished fifth among the 10 Big Sky Conference teams competing. The top five teams -- Idaho, Montana State, Northern Arizona, Sacramento State and Montana -- were separated by just eight shots.
The league’s 12 teams will convene at the Ocotillo Golf Resort at Chandler, Ariz., for the Big Sky championship beginning on April 19th.
“There was some good play out of a number of conference teams this week. We’re all getting where we need to be coming into conference. It’s going to be a good contest,” said Stephens.
“We’re right there. We’re close. I saw a lot of things out of my girls this week that I was really proud of. I think we’re almost ready.”
Nevada (294-300-294--888) won the tournament by seven strokes over Washington State (296-303-296--895). Boise State’s Genevieve Ling (72-73-71--216) earned medalist honors after playing her three rounds at the Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club at even par.