CSUN women’s golf struggles amid injuries


Edward Segal

The finishers for CSUN women’s golf at the Big O Classic. All of the players scored above par by the value indicated. Senior Grace Bettis and junior Julia Myklebust did not participate in the tour due to injury. Creighton University hosted the event in Omaha, Neb., at the Oak Hills Country Club from Oct. 3-4, 2022.

Alexis Martinez, Reporter

The Matadors’ troubles continued on the course as they suffered another low finish in Omaha, Nebraska, at the Big O Classic, the third tournament of the season. The contest took place from Oct. 3-4 in the presence of vibrant green trees and an overcast sky, under which the Matadors finished seventh out of nine teams.

Creighton University hosted the nine-team field, which included colleges like third-place Omaha State University, sixth-place Western Illinois University, and the winner, Wichita State University. The Shockers of Wichita State shot 50-over with 926 strokes as a team to come out with the victory, while the Matadors ended with 101-over 977 strokes.

“I think playing with four players going into a tournament where your score counts has a lot of pressure on them and that pressure got into their heads,” said CSUN head coach Michelle Winkler. “It was pretty windy the first day and on the last day, we had the second-best score, which was great.”

Senior Grace Bettis did not compete after suffering a back injury in round two of the 2022 Colonel Wollenberg Ptarmigan Ram Classic. Junior Julia Myklebust also missed the event due to injury.

“Grace, unfortunately, had to sit out in this tournament because of the strain on her lower back,” Winkler said. “Julia is dealing with a more serious back issue and is sitting out.”

Sophomore Fernanda Sosa Stackpole performed team best, striking the ball for an 80.33 average. She started the first round with 8-over 81 strokes. There was no improvement in the second round as she racked up two birdies in another 8-over 81-stroke effort.

Stackpole slightly recovered in form after that, driving the ball for two more birdies and a 6-over 79 in the final round. These efforts were enough for Stackpole to finish tied for 27th place with three other players.

Freshman Kim Turgut finished with an average of 80.67 strokes. Turgut began her tournament with an unproductive first round, swinging for a 10-over 83, though she collected a birdie to boot. The second round proved just as unfruitful as she whacked the ball for another 10-over 83, while pilfering for two birdies.

Turgut bolstered up her shot by the final round, earning three birdies in a 3-over 76, which landed her tied for 31st place with a player from the University of Northern Iowa and another from the University of St. Thomas.

Freshman Gracie Piar has been the Matadors best player this season with a 75.83 stroke per round average. In the Big O, Piar struggled through the first round with a 9-over 82 outing. Her performance worsened in the second round as Piar bashed the ball for a 14-over 87, although she did pick up two birdies.

Round three proved to be Piar’s best as she curved her shots for not only two birdies but a much-improved finish of 5-over 78 strokes. This landed her tied for 38th place with junior Elle Laur.

Laur launched the tournament with a faltering round one in which most of her shots were over par. She ended the bout with a 14-over 87-stroke endeavor. Though she improved in the second round, Laur’s production only provided a 7-over 80-stroke session. Through the first nine holes, she achieved seven pars. The last nine holes were frigid, as she scored at least a par on only four of them.

Laur did not mend her flat work on the course in round three, where she shot for another 7-over 80. This gave her an average of 82.33, enough to tie her teammate, Piar, for 38th place.

In the last two tours, the Matadors smacked the ball for an average of 305.67 strokes per round, improving from 918 shots in the Hobble Creek Fall Classic to 916 strokes in the Ram Classic. In the Big O Classic, the Matadors dropped to 977 total strokes.

“Everyone is pretty tired — midterms are this week and other stuff [is] going on,” Winkler said. “Once Hawaii hits we’ll be given time to prep. They’re excited to play at Hawaii.”

With the year-long season having just begun, this young Matadors team will look to limit errant shots at the Rainbow Wahine Invitational in Kapolei, Hawaii, at the Kapolei Golf Course. The tour will be held from Oct. 24-26.