Golf programs look for improvement spring season

After a number of tepid team performances in the fall golf season, both the Portland State men’s and women’s teams are looking to improve upon those results over the course of the spring schedule in preparation for the Big Sky Conference Championships in April.

Buoyed by a collection of strong individual finishes, the Vikings demonstrated their proficiency on the links last fall at several tournaments held throughout the western United States.

The PSU men’s team finished in 13th place among 15 schools at the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate in Denver, Colo., in early October. Senior Brodie Jordan shot a career-best 67 in the opening round of the tournament and ended up placing 40th among 81 participants with a total score of 226 for the 54-hole event. Junior Doug Nelson shot a 225 to finish in 39th place for the Vikings, who placed second among the three Big Sky Schools in attendance. PSU finished eight strokes behind Weber State and 31 in front of Idaho State.

Nelson led the Vikings to a 14th place finish, among 17 teams, at the Aztec Invitational in Lakeside, Calif., on Nov. 6, 2001. Nelson’s one over par total of 217 was good for 36th place among 85 golfers. His

performance at the Aztec Invitational earned him recognition as the Big Sky men’s golfer of the week, the second time in his PSU career that Nelson has garnered such an award. His fall average of 74.1 paced the team in terms of low scoring.

The women traveled to Oxnard, Calif., on Oct. 24, 2001, to compete as part of a nine-team field at the Matador Fall Classic. With Bobbie Dunn and Lisa Zimmer turning in career two-round performances at the event, the Vikings finished in fourth place. Dunn, a junior, shot 75-76 (151) to finish in fifth place in the individual rankings. Zimmer shot 79-76 (155) to tie for ninth place. Zimmer, a senior, led the team with an 81.1 scoring average throughout the fall.

The Viking women placed ninth among 16 teams in their first competition of the spring at the Bay Area Classic in Vallejo, Calif. Held the last weekend in February, the event was also attended by Big Sky schools Weber State and Northern Arizona. PSU finished ahead of both schools by slim margins, edging NAU by five strokes and Weber by 12. PSU was led by sophomore Rebecca Randolph, who strung together a pair of 76s to finish in 12th place individually with a score of 152.

Both squads will be in action this week. The men travel to Sacramento, Calif., to compete in the Sacramento State Invitational March 11-12. The women will attend the Bruin Classic in Temecula, Calif., on those dates. The men will have four opportunities to compete in tournament play before the Big Sky championships, held at St. George, Utah, April 23-24. The women will attend three tournaments prior to the championships.

The PSU men’s team, coming off of a second place finish in the Big Sky Conference in 2000-01, received word that the program will be discontinued, largely because of projected future budget deficits, in a memo from the athletic department last week. PSU will honor the scholarships of those golfers wishing to remain at the school, but Athletic Director Tom Burman appears confident that eligible athletes will be able to find homes at other schools if they wish to continue their careers in intercollegiate golf.

“I think those men that are playing under scholarship have enough talent to transfer,” Burman said, “and play elsewhere under scholarship also.”