Golf tees off for first time

Tim Heiduk, Sports Editor

The Westmont men’s and women’s golf teams competed for the first time in program history last week at the California State Invitational, which was played at Olivas Links Golf Course in Ventura.

“It was an amazing moment seeing the first golfers in the history of Westmont College tee off,” said head coach Tom Knecht. “I was so proud of the team and all the people who invested so much to make this program a reality.”

There was an expected learning curve for the Warriors in their first ever tournament, with the men’s team placing 10th out of 10 teams and the women’s team finishing in ninth out of nine.

“I thought we did a great job,” said Knecht. “The women scored better than they had all during training camp and the guys played lights out for stretches. We just need to become a little more consistent.”

On the men’s side, freshman Lorne Fishburn and senior captain Tanner Shean led the team by tying for 39th place with a score of +13 over the three rounds of competition. Fishburn saved his best round for last, shooting a 73 on the final day after shooting a 78 in each of the first two days. Shean began his tournament with a 73 before firing a 78 in each of the last two days.

Those two were followed closely by freshman Jack Wright, who tied for 42nd at +14. Wright shot a 76 in rounds 1 and 3, with a round of 78 in between. Junior Tom Ridd placed 46th at +16, with rounds of 75, 80, and 77. Senior captain Miles Witt rounded out the scoring for the Warriors by tying
for 52nd place at +21.

“It was a blast to compete again,” said Witt. “I was very thankful to be out there and I felt we did well considering it was everyone’s first college tournament.”

On the women’s side, freshman Kat Bevill led the way by finishing tied for 18th at +10 after two rounds. Bevill shot an 81 in round 1 before storming back in round 2 with a 73.

“Kat Bevill is an amazing player and, after a rough start, she showed that she could be one of the best players in the GSAC,” said Knecht.

Freshman Rory Derr was next for the Warriors, placing 37th at +23. Suzie Taylor shot +30 to place 46th, while Drew Thompson placed 49th after shooting +43. Mia Jimenez, who returned to her hometown of Ventura for this tournament, rounded out the team’s scoring with a 53rd place finish (+49).

The teams, who competed the last two days at the Firestorm Fall Invitational in Phoenix, will next play at the William Jessup Fall Invitational on Oct. 14-15.

“I’d like to see us play smarter and keep a good mental outlook,” said Knecht. “But I am very pleased
with these players.”