Cheney, Wash. – After a solid fall showing and a mild winter filled with practice, the Eastern Washington University women's golf team looks to start its spring season this weekend by competing in the annual Red Rocks Invitational tournament held at the Oakcreek Country Club in Sedona, Ariz., on Friday, Feb. 27, and Saturday, Feb. 28.
Eastern will play for a total of two rounds on the 5579-yard, par 72 course, with round one taking place on Friday, at 12:00 p.m., and the final round on Saturday, at 10:00 a.m.
"We're ready to start competing again," said head coach Brenda Howe, "Our qualifying scores for this event were extremely good, and I'm excited to see our lineup compete. We've been fortunate to get a solid four weeks of outdoor practice this winter, so I am looking forward to taking that advantage into this early event."
The field for the competition consists of 20 teams, six of which are Big Sky Conference members. Along with the Eagles, Northern Arizona, North Dakota, Sacramento State, Weber State, and Southern Utah will all be representing the BSC.
Other nonconference teams competing include : Central Michigan, Grand Canyon, South Dakota State, British Columbia, Eastern Michigan, Nebraska Omaha, Northern Kentucky, Santa Clara, Wichita State, Cal Poly, New Mexico State, Oakland, Seattle and Utah Valley.
At number one for the Eagles will be senior Caitilin Rice, who finished at last year's tournament just outside the top 20, recording a two-round total of 153 (+9). Following Rice at two and three will be freshmen Annie Leete and Kimberlie Miyamoto. Rouding out the five player roster is All-Big Sky Second Team junior Marissa Borja, who shot a 152 two-round total, with a low mark of -2, at last year's competition, and senior Taylor Crandall, who finished ninth in Sedona last year with a 149 (+5).
Last year at this event our second round score of 297 was the lowest score we've posted in my five and a half years of coaching at Eastern. Three of those ladies who contributed to that will be playing in our lineup," said Howe, "In that score, Caitilin Rice, Marissa Borja, and Taylor Crandall combined for a total of one over par for that round. I'm looking for those three to go in with some confidence for this golf course."
In the last four years of the tournament, Eastern has shown a steady rise in finishes, jumping ten places in the standings from 2010 to 2014, most recently securing sixth in last year's competition.
Initial weather forecasts expect the temperature to be in the high fifties coupled with a chance of rain for the three-day, weekend tournament.