Women’s golf wins Big Sky Conference Championship

The Portland State Vikings edged their way through three rounds of golf this week and climbed to the top of the conference to claim the 2010 Big Sky Women’s Golf Championship.

The Portland State Vikings edged their way through three rounds of golf this week and climbed to the top of the conference to claim the 2010 Big Sky Women’s Golf Championship.

This is Portland State’s fifth golf championship in eight years, and second for third-year coach Kathleen Takaishi. The Vikings won the title three straight seasons in 2003–05 and again in 2008. The win grants Portland State an automatic entry into the NCAA West Regional on May 5–8.

In the first two rounds of the championship held at the 72-par Ocotillo Golf Course in Chandler, Ariz., both Northern Arizona and Portland State battled back and forth with NAU shooting one less stroke than PSU on Monday. The tides turned on Tuesday, and Portland State shot one under NAU to tie the score at 591 going into the final day of play.

On Wednesday, the two teams played head-to-head and the Vikings took an early five-stroke lead. At the start of the back nine Northern Arizona narrowed the PSU lead down to two strokes, and with three holes remaining NAU took a two-shot lead over the Vikings.

Coming down to the final golfers on the final three holes, Northern Arizona went eight-over par on the final triplet and finished with 313 combined strokes on the day and 904 over all three rounds. Portland State shot two-over on the final holes and finished with 309 on the day and 900 overall to take the lead and eventual win.

Sacramento State shot two-under on the last three holes to sneak past NAU for a second-place finish, with 304 strokes in the final round and 902 overall.

Weather affected play on Wednesday, with 20 mph wind with gusts of up to 30 mph contributing to the highest scores for most of the nine teams competing, but Northern Arizona freshman Stephanie Kim seemed to have no problem working with the wind. Kim finished in first place and tied the ch
ampionship record with a score of 216 (69–70–77).

All five Vikings competing at the championship finished among the top 20. Portland State freshman Britney Yada entered Wednesday’s round in third place on the leaderboards and kept her position with a final score of 222 (71–76–75) to tie with Sacramento State senior Brooke Green.

Senior Stephanie Johns and sophomore Tiffany Schoning tied for sixth place with scores of 226. Juniors Alexia Brown and Kalyn Dodge finished in a three-way tie for 17th place with sophomore Chelsea Shivers of Northern Colorado, with scores of 231.

Johns, who didn’t play much of the spring season after an injury kept her out of competition, was excited with the team’s finish.

“It’s awesome,” Johns said in a statement released by the league. “I don’t really know how else to describe it. After being out the whole year, it’s really cool to be here and for us to perform and win.”

Takaishi gave credit for the win to her entire squad, and not just the five Vikings that competed in the championship.

“We’ve had probably three or four lineups throughout the year, so it’s nice to know that everyone on the team contributed to the win,” Takaishi said. “We had players fill in when we had injuries and other issues, and they are just as much a part of this as these five girls.”

Northern Arizona was picked as the favorite to win the championship in a pre-season poll, and Portland State was predicted to finish fourth.

The Viking golf team is the fourth women’s sports team at PSU to win a Big Sky Conference Championship—the most ever in an academic year. The regional site for the women’s golf NCAA postseason will be selected on Monday.


2010 Big Sky Women’s Golf Champions
1st place
Portland State    295-296-309    900    +36

3rd place (tie)

Britney Yada
+6, 222

6th place (tie)

Stephanie Johns
+10, 226

Tiffany Schoning

+10, 226

17th place (tie)

Alexia Brown
+15, 231

Kalyn Dodge
+15, 231