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Golf team returns to action in Arizona

03 Dec 2021 | 07:03 | Golf

The Montana women’s golf team will return to action next week when the Grizzlies compete in the Bobcat Desert Classic on Monday and Tuesday.

The 36-hole tournament will be played at the Golf Club of Estrella in Goodyear, Ariz., with 18 holes on Monday, 18 on Tuesday.

The tournament will include 13 teams, six of those from the Big Sky Conference.

The Grizzlies have played in two tournaments to date. They finished 12th out of 15 teams at the Lady Thunderbird Invitational in St. George, Utah, 17th out of 19 at the Red Rocks Invitational in Sedona, Ariz.

Montana has a team scoring average through five rounds this season of 318.2.

“The goal is to shoot better than we have the last two times, because we feel we totally underperformed the first two tournaments,” said coach Kris Nord.

“The last one was very rocky for us. We need to get back to steady golf and get some confidence across the board, so I love having this before Big Sky.

“We’ve had a couple good weeks of practice outdoors. We’ll see if that pays off down in Goodyear.”

Jessica Ponce (78.4), Faith D’Ortenzio (79.6) and Kylie Esh (79.8) all have scoring averages below 80. Teigan Avery (80.8) and Meredith Boos (83.0) also will be competing.

Ponce led Montana at the first two tournaments this season, with a low round of 75 over the first 18 holes at the Red Rocks Invitational. Avery and D’Ortenzio also have rounds of 75 this season.

Boos will be making her team debut next week. She competed as an individual in St. George, posting scores of 88 and 78.

“We had a lot of competition in qualifying for the last spot,” said Nord. “Meredith played real well. She deserves to go and she needs the experience.

“When she plays well, she is driving the ball real well. She’s one of our longer hitters. More recently she’s been hitting a lot of greens and putting better. Putting was holding her back a little.

“This will be a different pressure, but she’s pretty poised for a freshman. I’m excited to see how she handles it.”

The Big Sky Conference Championship will take place one week later. The three-day event will take place Monday through Wednesday, April 19-21, at the Arrowhead Golf Club in Molalla, Ore.