In the final tournament of the season, Nevada Women’s Golf placed second in the Mountain West Conference Championship tournament. Nevada’s second-place finish ties the program’s best finish at a MWC championship and their best finish since 2003. Freshman Victoria Gailey was the top finisher for the Pack, placing fifth after three days of play in a field of 45 athletes.
The tournament was held in Rancho Mirage, California at the Mission Hill Country Club at the Dinah Shore tournament course. Dinah Shore is known for its tough scoring conditions, specifically a 646-yard, five-par 18th hole. The course challenges professional golfers and is one reason why the Pack finished the day with a combined team score of 305.
Senior Kaitlin Collum represented the Wolf Pack for the final time of her collegiate golfing career and was a leader in the opening round of the tourney. Collum finished the first day tied for third, with only one over par. She went without a birdie until the 13th hole, but once she found her stride she was set, carding twice within the final three rounds.
Before the first day came to a close, Gailey was another finisher inside the Top 10. She found success in the early to mid-rounds, shooting four birdies in holes 5-11, but failed to replicate her success in later in the day. Gailey recorded four bogeys in four of her last six holes. Nevada ended their first day in third place, five shots ahead of rival UNLV.
Collum and Gailey once again led the Pack in the second day of play, helping shave two strokes off of the team’s day one score. As a team, Nevada shot well through the front-nine, only going three over par as a group. The back-nine was not as forgiving, as the team went 12-over par. With their performance in day two, the Wolf Pack remained in third place entering the final rounds.
Gailey began her second day with an even par on the front half of the course. The back half was not as lenient towards Gailey, as she bogeyed holes 13 through 16. Despite her stumble on the back-nine, she finished the round with a four-over par to finish tied for ninth place.
Collum played well throughout the day but recorded a triple bogey on the 13th hole. Her slide on the 13th put her at seven over par for the tournament, pushing her back to ninth in a tie with Gailey.
The standout performance from the second day came from junior Jenny Krause, who carded two-over par. Her play in the round moved her up from 17th to a tie for 12th.
Entering day three, Nevada readied itself for a run at top-seeded San Diego State. A strong team score of 297 pushed the Pack into second place and on the heels of the Aztecs, but it was too little, too late. Nevada fell just short of their MWC competitors by a single stroke.
Thanks to five birdies, followed by pars over five of the last six holes, Gailey climbed to fifth in the standings. Her eight-over par finish at the Mountain West Conference championship ties her second-best finish of the season.
Krause built upon her successful day two, climbing up one spot in the leaderboards putting her into a tie for 11th off of a five-over par round. The 11th place is the highest finish of her career with Nevada.
For Collum, day three was the last time she suited up for the silver and blue. A harsh round for the senior pushed her back into a tie for 20th after carding an 83 on the day.
Over Collum’s four years with Nevada she built a respectable resume, winning the Cowgirl Classic in 2017 on a playoff. She was also selected to the All-MWC academic team for the past two seasons.
Nevada Women’s Golf now heads into the offseason. The program will have to regroup and regather as two of the seven athletes on the team are set to graduate.
Ryan Freeberg can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @SagebrushSports .