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FLC golfers start spring season in New Mexico

Tornroos places second; Edwards fourth to lead teams
Fort Lewis College golfer Emma Tornroos, pictured this fall, finished second this week at the team’s first spring tournament, the Cactus Thaw, in New Mexico. (Courtesy FLC Athletics)

The Fort Lewis College men’s and women’s golf teams returned to action this week, opening the championship portion of their schedule at the Cactus Thaw, hosted by Western New Mexico at Painted Dunes Golf Course.

The FLC women were one of four teams to make the trek south, finishing at +72 (648) to place second behind Western New Mexico at +48 (624).

The Fort Lewis men’s team took 10 golfers and fielded two teams, placing sixth and seventh out of eight teams.

Leading the way for the Skyhawks was junior Emma Tornroos, who finished as the tournament runner-up at +8 (152), just one stroke behind Western New Mexico’s Ana Valeria Enriquez at +7 (151).

Tornroos carded an even-par 72 during Monday's opening round to take a two-stroke lead over Enriquez. She followed with an 8-over-par 80 during Tuesday's second round, which was still the sixth-best round among the 22 individual golfers in the tournament.

The runner-up finish marks the best career tournament finish for Tornroos.

Fellow junior Brooke Sturtevant placed seventh with a score of +16 (160) after firing off rounds of 82 and 78.

Sophomore Kendal Gutierrez took 11th place at +20 (164). Junior Emilia Manntz tied for 15th overall (+28) and junior Durango native Madalen Meier placed 20th (+36).

Unattached junior Melissa Gabaldon placed 22nd at +52.

Darren Edwards paced the FLC men, placing fourth out of 57 golfers with a tournament score of -4 (140). The senior captain fired back-to-back rounds under par as he carded a 3-under 69 on Monday, followed by a 1-under 71 on Tuesday.

Playing on the FLC B Team, true freshman Carson Kerr earned his best career finish to date, placing in a tie for 19th overall at +3 (147), highlighted by a first-round 1-under 71.

FLC junior Kellen Kudrna also posted his best career finish, tying for 24th at +4 (148), including a second round 1-under 71 and 25 total pars.

True freshman Ronald Kildall III (+5) and senior Samuel Salisbury (+6) finished tied for 27th and tied for 31st, respectively, while sophomore Henry Poston and junior Riley Rottschafer tied for 36th place at +9.

FLC sophomore Nicholas Krantz (+12) tied for 42nd. Freshman Josh Stouder finished 48th and senior Curtis Foster placed 56th.

The Skyhawks will now have a month before their next competitions.