CHANDLER, Ariz. – Freshman Stephanie Kim became the second freshman in Big Sky Conference history to win the Big Sky Championship title, posting a five-over par 77 to finish at even-par for the tournament. The Lumberjacks finished third overall just four strokes back of champion Portland State and two behind Sacramento State in the team standings.
“I am extremely disappointed,” said Head Coach Brad Bedortha. “But Stephanie Kim and Megan Buck played like studs to finish first and second in the tournament. They stepped up big time when we needed them. Overall, we had our chances and it was close right to the end.”
NAU, which was tied or led after each of the first two rounds, shot a 313 in the final round to fall out of the team lead. Sacramento State shot the low round of the day at 304 to move into second place, while Portland State posted a 309 to finish at 900 and claim the team title.
“We are really disappointed that we did not win today,” said senior Megan Buck. “Everyone struggled today but we had a good season.”
Buck had her best performance in a conference tournament to finish second behind only teammate Kim. The Glendale product posted her collegiate-best round of two-under par 70 in the first round and followed with back-to-back rounds of 75 for a four-over par 220. It marked the best 54-hole score of her career.
“I am really proud of myself for having a good tournament,” said Buck.
Buck finished her career with an eagle on the par-5, 18th hole, recording her second eagle of the tournament.
“I was so nervous on my last hole because I have been thinking about it all week,” said Buck of her last collegiate tournament. “To hole out from the fairway for eagle was the perfect finish.”
Kim, who joined former NAU standout Sophia Choi as the only freshmen to win the conference tournament, is just starting her career. She finished the 54 holes with a tournament-tying mark of 216 to post a four-stroke victory over Buck. She tied the Big Sky Championship record set by NAU’s Lauren Gray in 2004 and equaled by Margaux Sheehan of Sacramento State in 2007.
“I am so proud of her,” said Buck. “She did really awesome. For her to have the lead every day is added pressure and she handled it really well. She played outstanding every day.”
Kim is the fifth player in school history to win medalist honors. Overall, NAU players have won medalist honors at the Big Sky Championship five previous times, including Choi, Lauren Gray (2004), Louise Davis (1997) and Eleanor Pilgram (1996, 1998).
“I feels very good and I am honored to win the individual title,” said Kim. “I had a tough day today but I hung in there.”
Junior Alexa Kim had a six-over par 78 in the third round, while Dakin Banta had an 83 and Bethany Leclair finished with an 84. Banta was tied for 20th overall, while Kim was 23rd and Leclair was tied for 29th.
Big Sky Women’s Golf Championship
Ocotillo Golf Course
1. Portland State 295-296-309 900 +36
2. Sacramento State 299-299-304 902 +38
3. Northern Arizona 294-297-313 904 +40
4. Northern Colorado 300-309-309 918 +54
5. Montana 311-301-307 919 +55
6. Montana State 309-316-316 941 +77
7. Weber State 313-312-325 950 +86
8. Eastern Washington 324-328-334 986 +122
9. Idaho State 326-331-341 998 +134
Individual Results (Top 10)
1. Stephanie Kim, Northern Arizona 69-70-77 216 E
2. Megan Buck, Northern Arizona 70-75-75 220 +4
T3. Brooke Green, Sacramento State 75-73-74 222 +6
T3. Britney Yada, Portland State 71-76-75 222 +6
5. Ali Nelson, Northern Colorado 75-73-76 224 +8
T6. Stephanie Johns, Portland State 75-73-78 226 +10
T6. Tiffany Schoning, Portland -State 75-74-77 226 +10
T8. Justine Chen, Sacramento State 76-78-74 228 +12
T8. Ashli Helstrom, Montana 76-73-79 228 +12
T8. Melissa Hultstrand, Montana State 76-76-76 228 +12
T8. Samantha Saffold, Sacramento State 72-76-80 228 +12
T8. Julie Shutler, Sacramento State 76-76-76 228 +12
Other NAU Scores
T20. Dakin Banta 75-75-83 233
23. Alexa Kim 81-78-78 237
T29. Bethany Leclair 80-77-84 241