AURORA, Ore. – The Northern Arizona University golf team opened up first and second round play today at the 2016 Rose City Collegiate, boasting a 26-over-par 602 score and finishing the day in seventh-place as a team.
The Lumberjacks really got things going in the second round after engineering a 16-over 304 effort in the first round. In the second set of 18, NAU mustered a sub-300 score at 10-over 298 to put themselves in legitimate contention for a top-five team finish come end-of-day Tuesday.
"In the first round, I would say we played okay," said Head Coach Brad Bedortha. "It definitely helped to have [Anokhina] back and [Bezdicek] played solid, but the other three didn't really produce the numbers we wanted. They were doing what we asked, but the shots just weren't going their way.
In the afternoon, though, we started hitting some better shots and we made more putts. Our putting in the first round kind of killed us. It was a step in the right direction, but we still have a lot of improving to do."
The day began with sophomore Sofia Anokhina leading the way for the Lumberjacks, dropping in birdies on holes nine, 10, 14 and 16 en route to registering a 1-under 71 during first-round action. Anokhina's performance, in correlation with junior Sierra Bezdicek's 4-over 76 and senior Kim Cifuentes' 6-over 78, propelled NAU into seventh-place at the conclusion of round one.
Anokhina cooled off just a smidge in the second set of 18, recording a 4-over 76, but still managed a tie for 12th-place on the individual leaderboard with a 36-hole total of 3-over 147.
The story of the second round, though, was the play from juniors Bezdicek and Kaitlyn Saum. After opening at 2-under to start the round, Bezdicek bogeyed five and six but rallied on 10 and 11 for birdie, birdie to end the round at even-par. Saum was equally just as impressive, finding her grove in the second round and turning in a 1-under 71—tying Anokhina for the best round on the team today.
Junior Carly Akine also penciled a scorecard today, shooting a 36-hole total of 15-over 159 and tallying four birdies.
"We're first off the tee at 8 a.m. tomorrow, so the focus is going to be on maintaining a positive attitude and hoping that translates into better shots and making more putts," said Bedortha. "We just have to keep getting sharper and doing the little things that will help us improve."