The sporadic snowfall that has defined the Pacific Northwest’s winter seems to have finally ceased, and this is welcome news for the Lewis & Clark golf teams. March 9 to 10 marked their second tournament of the spring season, with both the men’s and women’s teams competing in the Puget Sound Spring Invitational — the men played at Oakbrook Golf Course in Lakewood, Wash., while the women took to the Home Course in DuPont, Wash. Though winter weather nipped at the women’s heels in the form of a one-hour frost delay that weekend, the Pioneers proved that they needed no warming up.
Both as a team and individually, women’s golf found success in DuPont, finishing in second place overall (at a cool five strokes away from first no less) with a two-day total of 663. Compared with their third place and 737-stroke finish at the season’s first tournament in Banks, Oregon, the team appeared, appropriately, more comfortable on the Home Course.
“The Home Course was one of my favorite courses I have played in college, so it was a lot of fun,” Jane Almeida ’19 said. “The course really tested your short game and I think the rest of the team would agree with that.”
Annie McCutchan ’19 proved that statement correct.
“I struggled the most with putting, as the greens were incredibly slow,” McCutchan said. “Luckily I adapted a bit more the second day.”
Saying that McCutchan “adapted a bit” is something of an understatement; she shot a second-day 76, pushing her into first place overall. She attributed the win to not just short or long game, but also mental game.
“My thought going into the weekend was to enjoy (one of) my last few college tournaments as a senior, and I think that helped a lot to take pressure off myself,” McCutchan said. “I gained a lot of confidence off the tee with my driver and that confident ball-striking carried over into all my shots. Another thought that really helped me and something that’s been easier to do over my four years is to just play aggressively and be fearless, and I think that translated well in my performance.”
The victory earned McCutchan the title of Northwest Conference Student-Athlete of the Week.
Tori Eichten ’19 and Almeida also boasted top 10 finishes (in ninth and tenth, respectively), while Olivia Weaver ’22 and Kamryn Ford ’22 both improved their scores substantially on the second day — Weaver shooting a career best of 91.
While the men did not place as high in Lakewood, finishing in eighth, they concluded the weekend with some strong individual performances. Jacob Bell ’19 and Robert Wang ’19 both ended up in the top 20. Matt Siemer ’22 shot a 74 on Saturday and a 77 on Sunday, tying for tenth place while being only three strokes away from second. He was humble in addressing the achievement.
“Personally, I played decent (sic) over the weekend,” Siemer said. “I enjoyed my time in Tacoma and can’t wait for next weekend.”
This enthusiasm for the rest of the season makes sense, given the fact that the coldest months are now behind us (knock on a three-wood). Despite the frosty start to day one of the tournament, the sun eventually shined on the Pioneers, and, despite their different outcomes at separate courses, both teams were simply thankful for the rays.