Last week Seattle University hosted the Pat Lesser Harbottle Invitational at Tacoma’s Golf and Country Club. The University of Washington was able to walk away with the victory, posting a 1-under-par score of 863. With Washington State finishing second, at 897, 33 over par, the Huskies didn’t have any competition in their rearview.
Coming off of a poor first round start, the Portland State golf team was able to bounce back for the second round behind strong play from Valentina Trillo, who led the team with six birdies in the tournament while freshman Hansol Koo added five birdies of her own. Koo tied for 12th in the 77-player field, and shot 78–71–77 for a score of 226 over the 54-hole event.
Koo led all Vikings as well as 20 other Big Sky golfers, which in turn led to her being named Big Sky Conference Golfer of the Week“Prior to this tournament, [Koo] has been really consistent, not spectacular, but always consistent. This was her chance this week and she knows she could have played better than she did, but I have high expectations for her. She’s very talented,” said head coach Kailin Downs.
A Ram Choi, the back-to-back Big Sky Player of the Year was sitting out to rest an injured wrist she has struggled with throughout the year. Choi suffers from tendinitis in the wrist and is hoping that she will be prepared for the spring season.
“She is currently in a brace and not using it at all for 2 to 3 weeks. It hurt more than she wanted it to while playing golf, and it’s something she has to be careful of. As far as I know it’s her first time sitting out from a tournament, but it wore on her with the tournaments all back to back throughout the fall. The positives of the spring schedule is it’s spread out and more time to rest in between tournaments,” Downs said.
PSU placed eighth in the 13-team tournament. The Vikings shot a 320 in Tuesday’s final round, as they were unable to maintain the pace of their Monday afternoon score of 298.
“I’m not happy with an eighth place finish,” Downs said. I am disappointed in the last round because we moved to fifth after the second round and I felt really good about how we played that afternoon. I thought we would be able to use the performance as momentum and carry it to the next day and we just couldn’t get anything going. It was a missed opportunity to finish well and beat some good teams, but I didn’t have any number in mind in terms of finishing, and I didn’t really have any specific expectations except to play well and feed off of the previous four tournaments.”
This was the last event of the fall schedule. Vikings golf will return to action Feb. 9–10 at the Long Beach State Gold Rush.
For the spring season, the team will be focused on the conference.
“The goal is to be Big Sky Champions come April, and I look at every tournament as an opportunity to get better. We’ve beat and lost to both Big Sky schools (Idaho and Montana) in the tournament and its going to be a battle when it comes down to the championship. It’s exciting because I would rather have that than have one dominant team. It’s going to make us work that much harder. It’s going to be a little tougher this year to reach the championship, but we were the team to beat last year,” Downs said.
Idaho, Sacramento State and Northern Arizona are the Vikings’ biggest threat for the conference title.
“Northern Arizona can be better than they’ve been playing this fall. It should be a race between four or five of us,” Downs said.
Coming off of an unsatisfactory tournament finish with their biggest swinger Choi healthy and rested, look for the Vikings to make some noise in the Big Sky in February.