PSU makes a break in the Big Sky

In a poll taken by the league’s eight head coaches for women’sgolf teams, the Vikings were picked as the pre-season favorite towin the 2004 Big Sky Conference women’s golf title. The Vikingshave competed with poise and determination to live up to thatpre-season poll premonition.

Trailing by ten shots as they entered the final round Wednesday,April 21, the Vikings outplayed the Eastern Washington Eagles by 20shots to bring home the Big Sky trophy.

Throughout the current 2004 season, the Portland State women’sgolf team has gone 17-0 in head-to-head scoring against other BigSky schools. This had been the case in ten tournaments over thecourse of fall and spring terms.

The PSU women’s golf team competed in the Big Sky tournamentlast week. PSU competed for the second straight Big Sky ConferenceChampionship April 19-21. The 54-hole tournament was held at PalmValley Golf Club in Goodyear, Arizona. The Vikings, as champions,earned a berth in the NCAA Regional. The Vikings entered thetournament possessing the championship scoring record of 905 (setlast year) for 54 holes.

Junior Sarah Tiller shot her best round of the week onWednesday, leading the Viking charge with an even-par 72. Tiller’s77-74-72:223 broke her previous best by seven shots. Tiller’sfifth-place finish makes her All-Big Sky Conference for the secondyear in a row.

Junior Jeana Lee and freshman Lisa Kajihara each shot 73. Leewas even par the final two days to climb from 18th all the way tothird place with a 54-hole total of 222. A graduate of Portland’sSt. Mary’s Academy, Lee broke her personal 54-hole record by nineshots and earned All-Big Sky Conference honors. Lee was alsoAll-Big Sky in 2002. Kajihara also earned All-Big Sky honors as shetied for fifth as well with 72-78-73:223.

Senior Rebecca Randolph (72-75-80:227) and sophomore DanielleReilly (73-76-78:227) also starred at last week’s competition. Thefive Viking players finished among the top 11 out of 40participants.

A Viking advantage was their possession of three of the top fiveindividual scorers in the 10-year history of the event. Thisincludes Rebecca Randolph’s 224 last year (5th all-time), and thetop four single-round scores (Randolph holds number four with a 71last year). Portland State is currently ranked 69th among 221 teamsin the Golf Week/Sagarin ratings. Last year, after winning the BigSky title, PSU placed 16th among 21 teams at the NCAA WestRegional, ahead of four higher-ranked teams.

Three Vikings that helped win the 2003 title returned thisseason and have made outstanding contributions toward the Viking’s2004 season standings. Senior Rebecca Randolph leads the team inscoring with a 77.7 scoring average; that’s just 0.3 strokes offthe school record. Randolph was the medallist at this year’s BroncoFall Classic. Randolph is a two-time All-Big Sky Conferenceperformer and placed second in last year’s Big Sky tournament.

Junior Jeana Lee was the Big Sky Golfer of the Week fortournament play over the week of April 12-16. Lee posted a79-77:156 in the prestigious Peg Barnard California CollegiateTournament. Lee has an 80.2 scoring average this season, and was anAll-Big Sky Conference performer in 2002.

Junior Sarah Tiller also earned All-Big Sky honors last year andhas a 78.1 scoring average this season.

Two Viking newcomers have also competed well and contributed tothis season’s standings. Sophomore Danielle Reilly enters the BigSky Championship with a 78.6 scoring average. She earned ConferencePlayer of the Week honors last fall in just her second tournament.Freshman Lisa Kajihara has an 81.1 scoring average and has playedin every event in her first season at PSU.

Head Coach Felicia Johnston was the Big Sky Conference Coach ofthe Year in 2003. This was the same year in which Coach Johnstonled the Viking’s six-year old program to its first Big SkyChampionship title. Currently in her third year at Portland State,Johnston has led her team to two tournament titles in the 2003-04season and a school-record 311.9 scoring average.

PSU set new school-records for 18-hole scoring (290) and 36-holetournament scoring (593) this year in winning the Colorado/HeatherFarr Memorial.

With the combination of veteran and new players and adisciplined head coach, the Vikings took the 2004 Big SkyConference Women’s Golf Title. Congratulations on a well playedseason and on victory!