|Vandals off to WAC Tournament|
Familiarity is one thing the University of Idaho women’s golf team has going for it as the Vandals head to the Western Athletic Conference Championships at Longbow Golf Club at Mesa, Ariz. – the site of the last few league tournaments.
“That will be an advantage for us over the teams that are coming into our conference that have never played it,” coach Lisa Johnson said. “It’s a golf course where the better ball-striking teams tend to score better. There are several holes you do not hit driver. You have to be very strategic with your game plan and stick to it.”
Johnson takes a team of one junior, two sophomores and two freshmen to the three-day competition, which begins Monday and concludes Wednesday.
“This team is very coachable,” Johnson said. “That will benefit them at conference.”
So, too, will coming off of their best two tournaments of the spring – sixth of 13 teams at the Challenge at Onion Creek and fifth of 15 teams at the Fresno State Lexus Classic.
Sophomore Leilanie Kim has been the team’s scoring leader all season with an average of 76.10 with junior Rachel Choi right behind at 76.33. Sophomore Kaitlyn Oster is at 76.63 with freshman Kristin Strankman at 76.93 and freshman Cassie McKinley at 77.90.
Kim has six top-25 outings but Choi has two top-10 finishes. McKinley and Oster have the low rounds of the season with McKinley’s a two-under 68 on the par-70 Onion Creek Course, and Oster turning in a two-under 70 at the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown.
“They stayed relaxed and continued to believe they can improve,” said Johnson, adding it took her young team extra time to shed the winter blahs. “We’ve really dialed in the ball-striking and the putting is starting to improve.
“The team chemistry is great. It plays a really important role at conference. They help each other believe that we haven’t played our best golf yet.”