Things looking up for NAU golf
After finishing No. 14 at the Arizona Wildcats Invitational, the NAU golf team returned strong at the Red Rocks Invitational (RRI) tournament this past weekend, ending the invitational in fifth place.
“As a team we had some individual struggles, including myself,” said freshman Laura Jabczenski. “But we all pulled through at the end and that’s all that really matters in the end, so were definitely progressing toward the future, I guess.”
Before the tournament, the team set a goal to place in the top-5 at the RRI. The tournament consisted of twenty teams and by the end of the tournament the Jacks recorded a team-score of 632 points.
“I would definitely say it was a step in the right direction; we played better than in the last tournament,” said head coach Brad Bedortha. “We had some better scores and were definitely good; it put us back on the right track.”
NAU junior Stephanie Kim was the team’s top scorer. Kim birdied holes 14, 15 and 16, accruing 77 points through the first round and 75 points in the scored. Kim tied for fifth with two Eastern Michigan University (EMU) players and one Xavier University golfer. Kim finished eight over par with a 152.
“[Kim] has always been a solid player for us,” Bedortha said. “She finished her round off yesterday real well and it was real nice to see her do that. We got her playing the way we need her to play to have some success and that was nice.”
Jabczenski finished the tournament 14 over par, shooting a 78 on the first day, and tallied an 80 after the second, earning her a final score of 158 for the tournament.
Jabczenski placed No. 24, sharing her position with eight other competitors.
“I tried to stay focused and not think about my score,” Jabczenski said. “I tried to take every shot as it is that’s my only expectation and I feel like I accomplished that this tournament for sure.”
EMU claimed first place with a score of 603 points, while GCU held onto fourth place with a narrow led of eleven points at the conclusion of round one.
As the RRI progressed into the second round, the Jacks held onto the N0.5 spot, despite the team’s decline of six points, ending the final round with a score of 313.
NAU will travel to Rio Verde, Ariz. this weekend to play in the Rio Verde Invitational. This past year the Jacks finished with a score of 911, ranking second in the tournament.
“All the girls on the team know what they need to work on, and we are going to focus on that,” Kim said.” And the good thing is our next tournament is a week away, and we are ready to practice hard again and go out and do better next week.”