SPRINGVILLE, Utah – Junior Sierra Bezdicek recorded an impressive 5-over-par 147 mark and finds herself in a tie for third place on the individual leaderboard as the Northern Arizona University golf team wrapped up its first two rounds of the fall season Monday at the Hobble Creek Fall Classic.
As a team, the Lumberjacks registered a 42-over 610 score through the first 36 holes of the 54-hole tournament, receiving scoring contributions from Bezdicek, senior Kim Cifuentes (12-over 154) and juniors Kaitlyn Saum (13-over 155) and Carly Akine (12-over 154). New additions to the NAU golf team, freshmen Loren Skibba and Emma Reyes, also turned in scorecards today. Currently, NAU sits in eighth as a team.
"It was a little frustrating," said Head Coach Brad Bedortha. "We played well in spots and then we would just have some really bad holes. We just didn't execute to the level that we should have."
The 'Jacks began Monday going 20-over 304 in the first round, with their top-four athletes producing 25 bogeys to only nine birdies. The squad wrapped up the first 18 in a tie for fifth on the team leaderboard, with Bezdicek, Saum and Cifuentes highlighting the play.
Bezdicek got off to a rocky start—double bogeying on 2 and bogeying again on 5 and 8—but rallied nicely on the latter nine with three birdies and a 1-under 34 mark. Fellow junior teammate Saum also placed within the top-10 at the end of round one with a 3-over 74 tally—good enough for a tie at seventh—while Cifuentes sported a 7-over 78.
"[Bezdicek] played phenomenally," said Bedortha. "Her attitude was just spectacular. She's really blossoming in her golf game and as a person right now. It has been really fun to watch."
Collectively, the Lumberjacks stumbled some in the second round as well, scoring a 22-over 306. Bezdicek kept things going, engineering another good round with a 3-over 74 tally, while Cifuentes (5-over 76) and Akine (4-over 75) seemingly got things going a bit and worked up momentum heading into tomorrow.
"We had a nice chat after the rounds today, and I feel comfortable with their game going forward," said Bedortha. "They've obviously played the golf course and have a better feel for it. Hopefully we go out and execute some better shots and make a few more putts."
The NAU squad will conclude play from Springville tomorrow morning with the third and final round of 18 holes scheduled for an 8:15 a.m. MT shotgun start. While the last two years have seen the third round at Hobble Creek rained out, the field should be in the clear tomorrow as the forecast does not call for showers until the early afternoon hours (source: AccuWeather).