‘I genuinely feel our future is so bright’
LARAMIE -- The Wyoming Cowgirl golf team recently wrapped up its 2021 golf campaign after closing out the season at the Mountain West Conference Championship in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
As a team, the Cowgirls finished in the top 12 of every tournament competed in during the season which included two top ten finishes.
In their highest tournament finish at the Southern Utah Thunderbird Invitational, they placed seventh out of 15 teams with a 38-over 614. At the Wyoming Cowgirl Classic, UW shot a season-best score of 11-over 299 in the second round.
They placed tenth in a field of 20 with a three-round score of 51-over (915). The team had an 11th place finish at both The Gold Rush tournament and Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invite.
"Just like all facets of life around the world, this year has been very unique and college golf was not immune from the challenges," UW head coach Josey Stender said. "The team was exceptionally positive at handling everything that was thrown at them from out of school sacrifices, testing, travel, and different rules/formats at each event."
The Cowgirls were solid throughout the spring led by several individuals. Graduate Erin Sargent recorded two top-25 performances. Her best coming at the Southern Utah Thunderbird Invite where she turned in a 15th place finish with an eight-over 152 along with a season-best second round of two-over (74). She recorded a 22nd place finish at the MW Championship with a three-round total of 12-over (228). For her career, she had 21 Top 25 performances while playing in 45 events and 128 rounds. Sargent had a 76.1 stroke average for her career and ranks first in program history with a season-best 74.7 stroke average which was set in 2018-19.
Senior Caitlyn Skavdahl also finished with Top-25 performances during the 2021 season. She turned in her best performance at the SUU Thunderbird Invite with a three-round total of eight-over 152 to place 15th. Her best round came in the second round of the Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invite with an even par, 72. At the MW Championship, she carded a 12-over 228 to place 22nd. For her career, she has four Top 25 finishes with her best coming at the Lady Thunderbird Invite with a sixth place finish (+5, 149). Skavdahl has a stroke average of 77.8 this season and 78.32 for her career.
"We were very appreciative to get to play after a year off and I wasn't sure what to expect. I knew we had the talent to be competitive within the region," Stender added. "We had a mixed bag of results both individually and as a team but I would be remiss to recognize that Caitlyn, Morgan and Jessica all improved their overall stroke averages. Highlights would be the great last two rounds at MW, our competitive finish at the Thunderbird, Cowgirl Classic and Mountain Match Play, Caitlyn's albatross, plus the overall excitement of young players really stepping up when we needed them to. I genuinely feel our future is so bright with the return of such a talented group."
Junior Michelle Nguyen saw action in three tournaments playing as an individual. She had a season-stroke average of 80.14 and her best round came at the Wyoming Cowgirl Classic with a five-over, 77. Nguyen's season-best finish was 43rd (+13, 157) at the BYU Classic. Sophomore Samantha Hui competed in all seven competitions this season with one Top-25 finish. That came at the SUU Thunderbird Invite with a 20th place finish with a two-round score of nine-over 153. Her top round came in the second of the MW Championship with a season-best two-over 74. Fellow sophomore Cristiana Ciasca finished the season also playing in seven competitions with two of them as an individual. Her best finish came at the MW Championship tournament with a 37th place spot with a three-round score of 22-over, 238. Ciasca carded a season-best four-over 76 in three tournaments and had a stroke average of 81.60.
Freshmen Morgan Ryan and Jessica Zapf continued to make strides in their second year with the program. Zapf competed in all seven events over the spring for the Cowgirls. She recorded her best finish of her career with a 20-over 236 to place 35th at The Gold Rush tournament. Zapf had a stroke average of 79.93 and carded a career-best even par, 72 in the second round of the Wyoming Cowgirl Classic. Ryan played in six competitions with three of them as an individual. At the SUU Thunderbird Invite, she recorded her first Top 25 finish with a two-round total of nine-over 153 to place 20th. Her best round came at the Wyoming Cowgirl Classic with a four-over 76 and she had a stroke average of 80.61.
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