Led by Brooke Sturtevant and Ronald Kildall III, the Fort Lewis College women's and men's golf programs secured eighth-and seventh-place team finishes at the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference golf championships to close out their 2022-23 seasons on Tuesday.
The conference championships took place at Boulder Creek Golf Club in Las Vegas, utilizing a three-round format from Sunday through Tuesday. Boulder Creek features three, nine-hole courses to mix and match 27 holes of championship golf. The men kicked off their front nine with the Coyote Run course and finished the back nine on the Eldorado Valley Course. On the women's side, pairings opened the front nine on the Desert Hawk course while finishing the back nine on the Coyote Run course.
“Overall, I'm happy with our performance this weekend,” head coach Jim Foltz said. “The first two days were decent weather-wise, but we made a few mental mistakes that hurt us. Weather conditions were extremely gusty for the final round, but I thought we hung in there the best we could. I thought we played above average given the conditions; we just couldn't get over the hump with other teams playing even better.”
Colorado State University-Pueblo captured the women's team championship with a three-day total of 899 (+35). The 49th-ranked ThunderWolves outshot their closest opposition, Colorado Christian University, by 27 strokes with single-round totals of 292, 290 and 317.
On the men's side, No. 19 ranked CSU Pueblo finished the final round 2-under par to force a tie with No. 20 CCU for the team championship. Both squads totaled 849 to finish 15 strokes below par.
Colorado Christian's Xavier Bighaus won the men's individual championship. The No. 24 ranked sophomore carded scores of 71, 65 and 73 to finish seven strokes under par.
CSU Pueblo's Zoey Rodriguez and Kylie Severin shared the women's individual championship with 218s.
As a unit, the Fort Lewis women finished eighth out of 12 teams. The Skyhawks totaled scores of 319 and 308 through the first two rounds, but 30-40 mile per hour winds across the final round bumped the team’s third-round score up to 327 for a final of 954 (+90).
Sturtevant notched the highest overall finish for the Skyhawks women. She tied for 12th place with a final total of 231 (+12). With a first-round score of 74 (+2), Sturtevant birdied on hole nine but landed bogeys on holes seven, 10 and 18 to finish above par. The senior corrected herself in round two, landing an eagle alongside two birdies. Unfortunately, a trio of bogeys and a double bogey kept her at a 73 (+1) and just above par. Conditions in the last round proved unfavorable and Sturtevant collected a series of bogeys and a pair of double bogeys to finish with an 84 across her final 18.
Emma Tornoos (15th, 233), Kendal Gutierrez (28th, 243) and Molly Schwartz (34th, 247) also competed for the FLC women.
The men's team from Fort Lewis notched a seventh-place finish out of the nine squads, tallying single-round scores of 296, 289 and 306 to finish with an 891 total, 27 strokes above par.
Kildall III led the FLC men, finishing in a six-way tie for 12th. Kildall III carded a 216, posting single-round scores of 73, 71 and 72 to finish at an even par. In his opening round, Kildall III carded five birdies on holes three, six, seven, 10, and 12, but also tallied a pair of single and double bogeys to finish just above par. The sophomore had a cleaner second round, finishing a single stroke under par thanks to three birdies offsetting two bogeys. Tough conditions presented a challenge in the final round, and Kildall III responded with an eagle on hole 10, birdies on holes four and seven, and four bogeys to finish with an even par.
Henry Poston (25th, 221) Riley Rottschafer (29th, 225) Nicholas Krantz (35th, 231) and Carson Kerr (41st, 236) also competed for the FLC men.
With the 2022-23 season now in the books, both teams will look forward to the 2023-24 season starting in the fall.