|Golf teams earn mention by Golfweek|
The University of Idaho women’s golf team is Golfweek’s top-ranked Western Athletic Conference team heading into the spring season, while the men’s team is ranked second by the national publication.
The Vandal women earned their ranking based on a schedule deemed most difficult in the league as well as the leadership of juniors Leilanie Kim (Surrey, B.C.) and Kaitlyn Oster (Hillsboro, Ore.). Freshman Amy Hasenoehrl (Lewiston, Idaho) received mention as the freshman to watch and possibly the key player in helping the Vandals in the title race.
Coach Lisa Johnson said she used the fall tournaments to challenge the players with intense competition and demanding courses.
“We gained excellent experience against some very strong teams and on some difficult courses,” said Johnson, whose team opens the spring season Feb. 24-25 at the UC Irvine Invitational. “However, we didn’t play our best golf. We regrouped after the fall and are determined as ever to improve our scoring. Everyone has put in extra time over the winter to better prepare for the spring season.”
Coach John Means said an influx of newcomers added to his team’s potential. Like the women’s team, the freshman to watch is a Vandal – Jared du Toit from Kimberley, B.C.
“We are starting three new players this year,” said Means, whose team is ranked behind returning champion New Mexico State. “Our record against top-25 programs this fall showed the talent level of this team. As the three new starters gain more experience, scores will continue to drop.”
The other two newcomers expected to play integral roles for the Vandals are sophomore transfer Rylee Iacolucci (Cle Elum, Wash.) and freshman Ryan Porch (Kalispell, Mont.). The first spring tournament for the Vandals is the Feb. 21-23 Wyoming Desert Invitational.