The CSU womenâ€™s golf team finished third at the Mountain West Conference Championships in Seaside, Calif. over the weekend.
The Rams entered the third and final day tied for second place, but were unable to close the gap and return to Fort Collins as MWC champions.
They stayed in contention throughout the three-day tournament and got solid rounds from each of the five girls who competed.
Seniors Kasey Claussen and Natalie Stone tied for 6th place shooting a 228. The remaining three were all underclassmen: Sophomores Melissa Martin and Brianna Espinoza tied for 12th and 16th place, and freshman Emily Roering tied for 19th.
CSU finished with a combined score of 914 behind TCU (907) and champion New Mexico (898).
Despite not achieving what they hoped for, head coach Angie Hopkins was happy with the way her team competed.
â€œIâ€™m very pleased with how they played,â€ Hopkins said. â€œI feel really good about our chances at regionals and finishing third in that field â€“â€“ weâ€™ll take it.â€
The tournament was held at Black Horse Golf course, which the team felt was the most challenging course they had ever played. All but Roering had played there the previous year, but that experience was not enough to make up for the difficult greens.
â€œHole No. 8, and I think everyone would say this, was one of the hardest greens ever,â€ she said. â€œIt was almost nearly impossible to hit, plus it was a long par five too, but the entire front nine was pretty tough.â€
Claussen and Stone tried to use their experience and leadership to help the young players on their team succeed, playing such a demanding course.
â€œWe tried to explain to them how this course actually works,â€ Claussen said. â€œItâ€™s a tough task to land the ball on the green. I hope little things like that helped the younger players.â€
Claussen found that her advice was hard to accomplish and was left with an unsatisfied feeling about her play.
â€œI feel like I could have done a little better, but that is just how golf goes,â€ the senior said. â€œIâ€™m not happy with the way I played, but it is what it is.â€
The tournament may have left Claussen feeling disappointed, but the experience worked as a confidence booster for Roering and the other young teammates.
â€œI definitely gained a lot (of confidence). At the beginning of the tournament, I was a little worried,â€ Roering said. â€œI played pretty well and finished decent, so itâ€™s good for next year and a good experience. Iâ€™ll have that going into next year, and I will be able to play even better.â€
Hopkins said that just because the Rams didnâ€™t win, doesnâ€™t mean that the tournament was unsuccessful.
â€œThey were relaxed, they were confident, and they had fun,â€ Hopkins said. â€œThat was important this week. Our weakness was probably just that the putts didnâ€™t fall and thatâ€™s golf.â€
Sports Reporter Cris Tiller can be reached at email@example.com.