Women’s golf hit the green at the Augustana Spring Fling in Palm Desert, California for a two-day competition. After the first day of competition, the Eagles sat in fourth place of the 10-team field. But during the final round on Friday, the women improved by eight strokes and finished in fifth place.
Sophomore Marcel Manalo led her team during the first round, shooting a team-best 77. She shot a 38 on the front nine, and a 39 on the back nine with five birdies throughout the entire round. Teammates sophomore Rachel Reynolds and senior Mary Karnazes were not far behind. Reynolds finished with the second-best first round score at 79 and Karnazes birdied 2 holes to match Manalo’s front nine score of 38.
Juniors Jules Loibl and Tori Roeske helped the team, finishing at +9 after day one. Although usually consistent contributors to the team, sophomore Sophia Karnazes and freshman Sami Penor both struggled on the first day of competition, both shooting just under 90, with scores of 89. The Eagles still pulled off fourth-place with a team score of 328 as they went into the second day of competition.
Day two of competition brought strong performances from Loibl and Penor, who both carded in the 70s. Loibl was the only competitor during the final round at the Desert Willow Golf Resort to play under-par on the front nine holes. She carded a 76 in the round which moved her into her third top-five finish on the season, tied for fifth place.
Penor bounced back from her tough outing on the first day of competition, jumping from 44th place to 19th on Friday after scoring 74 on Friday. The highlights of her round included three birdies on the back nine, as well as going two-under on the five par-five holes. She finished the round with two birdies, recording her best round since the NCCAA West Regional tournament on October 1, 2018.
Following Loibl and Penor’s leading performances on day two were sophomores Marcel Manalo and Rachel Reynolds. Reynolds, playing as an individual, finished in the top-25 leaderboard. Manalo took 40 strokes to complete the front nine, in comparison to Reynolds’ 39 front nine outing.
Biola took a fifth place finish out of 10 teams, as they prepare for the final two tournaments of the season. The women will hit the course again at the Sonoma State Spring Invitational on April 8-9.