Fort Lewis College’s Summer Vigil got her spring season off to a good start on Monday.
The senior women’s golfer tied for ninth overall at The Cactus Thaw! at Painted Dunes Desert Golf Club in El Paso, Texas, and helped the Skyhawks finish fourth out of six teams.
Texas A&M-International won the event with a two-day total of 37-over-par 613. Western New Mexico was second with a 65-over 641, Embry-Riddle was third with a 81-over 657 and FLC was fourth with a 94-over 670.
Yuliana Yapur of Texas A&M-International tied for the win alongside teammate Napaknaree Sirithorn with a 3-over-par 147. Brenda Dominguez of Western New Mexico was third with a 9-over 153, while Crystal Wu from the University of Texas-El Paso took fourth with a 10-over. Vigil shot 15-over 159, and on Monday, shot three strokes lower than her opening round when she fired a 78.
Fort Lewis head coach Jim Foltz thought it was a good opening tournament for the women’s team, and said that Vigil played well.
“I thought Summer was solid and she knows her game,” Foltz said. “She shot an 81 for her round today and I think if she was close to a 78, she would’ve been top five. But I’ll take that. I thought our freshmen, Brooke Sturtevant and Madalen Meier, looked pretty good today. I think this group wants to surprise some people in conference, and if we can play consistently, we can do that.”
Sturtevant took 18th, as she shot a 22-over 166, while Durango native Madalen Meier shot a 25-over 169 to tie for 22nd. Kara Tschirhart shot a 30-over 174 for 25th, Sophie Schwartz was two strokes behind at 32-over 176 to take 26th.
Fort Lewis will compete at the El Cheapo Classic March 22-23 at Walking Stick Golf Course in Pueblo.
The Fort Lewis College men’s also competed at The Cactus Thaw! on Sunday and Monday, but the Skyhawks finished near the bottom of the pack. Midland Community College won the event with a 19-under-par 557, New Mexico Junior College was second at 8-under 558 and University of Texas-Permian Basin took third with a 5-over 581. Fort Lewis took eighth out of 10 teams, and shot a 42-over 618.
Josef Hacker and George Saunders of Midland tied for the win with an 8-under 136. Magnus Lomholt of New Mexico Junior College took third with a 6-under, while his teammates Liam Duncan shot a 5-under and Jacob Agerschou, also of New Mexico Junior College, was 3-under to round out the top five.
Foltz said that the men struggled on Sunday in windy conditions, but bounced back on Monday.
“Yesterday was tough and we were playing our shots into the wind,” Foltz said. “We talked about it last night and the guys came through today. We were five shots out of eighth-place heading into today and finished five shots ahead of (University of the Southwest). For it to be our first tournament of the championship season, we were hoping for more, but the way the guys bounced back today was nice, and I’ll take it.”
Fort Lewis was led by sophomore Darren Edwards, who shot a 7-over 151 to tie for 27th. Junior Blake Kuzava was 10-over, and senior Tyler Blohm was 11-over.
The Skyhawks will compete at the Bob Writz Invitational March 21-22 at Bear Creek Golf Course in Golden.
“I think the whole group is ready to challenge and push the conference,” Foltz said. “We want to step up and they’re ready. We’re going to be practicing as much as we can from now until March, and I really do think that with five solid players, we can give the RMAC a run for the money.”