Frontier Conference Golf Championships Final Results - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Frontier Conference Golf Championships Final Results

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UGF's Kowolchuk Rallies to 2nd Place Finish
 

Just as she did in the last Frontier Conference event of the regular season, Gina Kowalchuk saved her best golf for the last round, but this time she came up just short of a championship, finishing in 2nd at the Frontier Conference Championship. Kowalchuk shot a 71 on the final day of the tournament, the best round of the event by a full four strokes to become the top individual finisher in school history.

“She always does that. Its like here M.O.,” UGF head coach Nick Jankiewicz said of Kowalchuk’s final round rally. “I don’t know if she just gets relaxed or if she’s the type of player that likes to have something to shoot at. The other thing is she’s still very young. She came up in the conference with two or three senior that could really play and now she’s becoming that player.”

Heading into the day, Kowalchuk had a lot of ground to make up, sitting in 6th place, ten strokes behind the leader. Jankiewicz said he told her that in order to win the tournament, she’d probably have to shoot a 68 or better and she didn’t come too far off from doing just that.

“85 in the first round kind of put her out of striking distance,” Jankiewicz said. “At one point I think she got to three of four under. A bogey here and there ruined that but she still shot the best round of the tournament and only round under par. Its there, we just need to cultivate that into rounds 1 and 2.”

In the end, Kowalchuk finished four strokes behind Kyla Clancy of Rocky Mountain College who led through each round of the tournament. Kowalchuk finished +20 (236) and was the top golfer on par 3s (3.17 average) and made more birdies (6) than any other female golfer.

With the help of their top golfer’s second place finish, the Lady Argo team finished 5th of 6 team with a total team score of +322 (1186).

Kowalchuk entered the tournament ranked 59th in the NAIA individual rankings, putting her just on the cusp of an at-large bid to the 2016 NAIA Women’s Golf Championship. Her fate will mostly likely be determined by how many top teams nationally with their conference’s automatic qualifiers, taking their athletes out of the at-large pool.

Those results won’t be known till every conference finishes conference tournament play over the next few weeks. 


Argo Men Set Program Best

Cody Babinecz finished at the top of a hill on the individual rollercoaster ride that was Argo golf’s Frontier Conference Championship performance. The freshman tied teammate Taylor Kuntz for the second best round of the tournament (72), which Kuntz shot the previous day, but no UGF male finished higher than 8th at the close of the event. Despite each UGF individual paring great rounds with less stellar performances, the overall team finished 3rd of six teams, the program’s best ever conference finish.

“We’re definitely making great strides. I’m really excited for next season,” UGF head coach Nick Janckiewicz said. “We’re a growing program and hopefully we can go out next year and take care of business.”   

Over the three-day tournament, a number of young Argos proved they have the talent, just not the consistency, to be one of the best golfers in the conference. Babinecz (72 in round 3), Kuntz (72 in round 2), and sophomore Paul Brannan (75 in round 1) each had one outstanding round, and one round of 80 or higher.

“Every one of these guys we took down here is capable of shooting in the mid-60s and that’s a true statement,” Jankiewicz said. “I know that they can do it, its just a growing thing. As young as we are, we’re also very deep in talent.”

On the final day of the event, Babinecz was the example of the team’s talent and potential. In his first conference championship, the freshman not only shot the second best round of the tournament, but was also one of five players eagle a hole all week, taking three strokes on the par 5 10th hole. Had the course been all par 5s and par 3s, his results may have been even better as he was the fourth best golfer on par 3 holes (3.33 average) and par 5s (4.78 average) but was a combined +15 on par 4s.

Thanks in part to his effort, the UGF team saw a brief glimpse of championship hope early on the third day, when a falling Rocky Mountain College team, and rising Lewis-Clark State College and UGF teams all met within five strokes of each other. That soon changed as LC State took off from there and UGF stayed still.

“At some point during today’s round it was really anybody’s ballgame and unfortuntaly for us, Lewis-Clark really plowed forward,” Jankiewicz said. “But I’m proud of our guys for staying in it and fighting all day. All week they’ve had each others’ backs.”

As much as Babinecz showcased the promising aspect of the Argo squad, Kuntz showcased the frustrating inconsistencies. The sophomore entered they day T-2nd and just two strokes behind the leader, but a final round of 84 dropped him all the way down to T-10.

Kutnz tied with teammate Paul Brannan, both finishing with a total score of +19 (232). The only Argo to finish above them was Babinecz with a +17 (230). Freshman Easton Enott was the next best UGF golfer, shooting a final round of 78 to finish +25 for the tournament and in T-14 place. He was closely followed by senior Garrett Adair, whose last collegiate round was an even 80 to place him 16th at +26.

The third place team conference finish, both in the regular season and the championship tournament, is a major step forward for the Argo program after finishing last in the Frontier each of the last three years. 

UGF Sports Information


Saints Close Out Frontier Tournament

The Carroll College golf team closed out the Frontier Conference Golf Championship at the ASU Karsten Golf Course Wednesday. The Carroll women finished in third place overall with two golfers finishing in the top ten and the Carroll men finished fifth.

Justin Galiher put up a tournament team-low score of 73 to lead the Saints on day three. He helped the team cut three strokes off of the team total from round two to finish with a 315, the best round of the tournament for Carroll.

"On the men's team it was great to see our team captain go out and do what he is capable of doing," head coach Bennett MacIntyre said. "Our men's team improved each round by lowering our overall team score."

It was not enough to hold off hard-charging Montana Tech who beat the Saints for fourth place by one stroke 964 to 965.

Lexi Pyette led the Saints with a final score of 252, Rachel Milesfinished right behind Pyette in  place with a final score of 264.

"I was very happy to see a couple girls in purple in the top 10 and especially happy for Lexi to close out her senior year with a top-ten finish," MacIntyre said. "She was a great athlete on the soccer field and and on the course when we needed her."

The Saints finished with a team score of 1030, well ahead of fourth-place Montana Tech who finished with a team score of 1117.

The Rocky Mountain women, led by individual medalists Kyla Clancy won the women's team title with a score of 984 and the Lewis-Clark men led by Chris Lien, edged out Rocky Mountain for the men's team title with a score of 901.

"This was a great tournament in a championship venue. In the second year down in Arizona this event is growing and getting better and it showed on the course. The Rocky women and LC State men will represent our conference well at the National Championships," MacIntyre said. "They are strong teams and I thing they have a chance to make some noise and carry the banner of the Frontier Conference on the national stage."

Carroll Sports Information

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