Three consecutive team titles, and a school record of five event titles overall, is not enough hardware for the Sam Houston State women’s golf team as they shoot for title No. 6 at the Southland Conference Championship at the Woodforest Golf Club in Montgomery.
The second round of the tournament wrapped up Tuesday afternoon with the Bearkats sitting in second place. SHSU finished the second round shooting 24 over par and are nine strokes back of current first place Houston Baptist.
“We need to start capitalizing on all of our birdie opportunities,” head coach Brandt Kieschnick said. “The holes we need to make par, make par on, and just apply some pressure early going into this final round.”
After shooting a tournament low 293 in the first round, the Bearkats entered the second round of action tied with the HBU Huskies for first. However, the Kats fell into second after some miscues on the greens.
“We struggled on the greens,” Kieschnick said. “We played about the same as the leaders did and we were tied for the lead. We have to clean up on the greens going into the final round and I think we have a good chance.”
Five Bearkats are competing in the Southland Conference Championship tournament, three of which currently sit in the top-10. Junior Gianti Mahardhika is tied for fourth after shooting a 146 through two rounds, while freshman Hannah Alberto is sixth after totaling a 147 and sophomore Jenna Phillips follows in ninth place with a two-round total of 148.
“They’ve [Mahardhika, Alberto, Phillips] played really solid so far,” Kieschnick said. “They’ve been solid for us all year and we really just need another good round by everyone and we’ll have a chance to win.”
Two-time individual champion senior Heather Shake shot a 151 through two rounds, which is good enough to sit at 15 place, while freshman Kari Bush is in 36 place after scoring a 161.
“Shake has won twice this year and she’s just a fantastic player,” Kieschnick said. “When she plays good, it’s as good as anybody. She kind of struggled on the front in this tournament, but both days she has fought back on the back nine.”
SHSU will wrap up the Southland Conference Championships Wednesday with the final round of action. If the Bearkats climb back into first and take home the championship, it would be their first match title at the championships in 10 years.
“We’ve had an extraordinary season so far and our goal is to get number six,” Kieschnick said. “We’ve won five events and its never been done. For a chance to win a conference championship, to win six out of eleven events, that would be over 50-percent for the year for our win record. It all comes down to one round tomorrow and we’re going to be ready to go.”