The Dixie State University women’s golf team conquered wind gusts of up to 60 mph to finish in the top-half of the field for the first time this season.
The Trailblazers finished in sixth place at the Missouri-St. Louis Las Vegas Desert Classic, which was held at the 6,012 yard par 72 Desert Course at the Primm Valley Golf Club in Primm, Nevada.
“In all these tournaments, we have had a fair enough chance [for a top-five finish and] that’s definitely a reachable goal,” said sophomore Katie Ford, an exercise science major from St. George.
Ford and redshirt junior Cobair Collinsworth both finished inside the top-20 as Ford took eighth place with an overall score of 155 (+11) and Collinsworth finished tied for 12th with a score of 157 (+13).
Scoring on day two was better overall for every Trailblazer as conditions proved to be more favorable for the field. Due to extreme windy conditions on day one, tournament officials made the course more playable by moving the tees forward.
Ford said the changes shortened some of the longer par 4s and made the par 5s reachable in two, thus creating more opportunities for birdies and pars. Ford managed to put together an impressive string of nine straight pars in round two on the front nine.
“I have been working a lot on my longer irons [and] my rescue clubs [because] I used to be all over the place with them,” Ford said. “This season I have hit more greens than I ever have.”
Ford said her goal entering the final regular season tournament is to win it. If she can’t win it, she is aiming for a top-five finish.
Collinsworth bounced back from round one’s 82 (+10) with a notable 75 (+3) in round two. Collinsworth said shooting a 75 with a triple bogey was an impressive round, even for her.
“My short game really came through today,” said Collinsworth, a business administration major from Sandy. “It was just a really good thing because I’ve been working really hard on it.”
After struggling with higher scores the last few tournaments, freshman Ashley Fernandez said she had one of her better tournaments. Being a shorter hitter off the tee, the shortened course played more to her advantage because of her accuracy, Fernandez said.
“Usually when there is a desert course and there is a lot of trouble, I don’t really have much of a problem because I hit it so straight,” said Fernandez, a communication major from Anaheim, California.
Freshman Ashley Malone finished with a final score of 170 (+26) to finish tied for 48th while redshirt sophomore Kaitlynn Hanberg shot an overall 39-over-par 181 to finish tied for 64th.
As the Trailblazers enter their final regular season tournament, their hopes are still alive for a top-five finish as they play in the Western New Mexico Spring Intercollegiate April 10 and 11 at the Palm Valley Golf Club in Goodyear, Arizona.