It's crunch time for the Western men's and women's golf teams. Both squads wrapped up round two of three on Tuesday, April 19. The women have taken sole possession of fourth place after an impressive 322 round. An improvement of 19 strokes made all the difference for the Griffons. The women went into Tuesday's round tied with Central Missouri for fourth after firing a 341 team score in the first round. Celine Lim and Shi Qing Ong wrapped up the first round tied for 14th place overall after both shooting 83. Lim shot 80 in round two, holding firm at 14th overall with a 163 score. Qing Ong was narrowly behind her, shooting 82 in round two. She sits at 17th place overall. Madison Romjue, how shot an 88 on day one, improved with a 78 on day two. With a score of 166, she is tied for 18th overall. Western wrapped up day two with a 663 overall, moving 10 points ahead of Central Missouri. Lindenwood holds the No. 3 spot with 646. Central Oklahoma sits tight at the No. 2 spot with a 633, while Northeastern State has a 605 going into the final round. As for the men, the Griffons have taken over seventh place at the end of day two with a 613. Corey Knight entered day two tied for third overall after shooting a 74 in the first round. He shot a 76 in round two and now sits at 15th overall with a score of 150. Ryan Hand shot an 80 in the first round, but cleaned up for a 74 on day two. He now sits tied at 26th with a 154. The race for first is much closer for the men. Western is only one stroke behind Northeastern State for sixth, and six strokes behind Nebraska-Kearney for fifth. Washburn hold down third with a 602. Central Missouri and Lindenwood are tied for second with 595 each. Central Oklahoma sits tight at first with 585. Both teams will wrap up the MIAA Championships with the final round on Wednesday, April 20.
After a long winter break Western’s men were back in action. The team traveled to Oklahoma City for the Broncho Invitational where the team finished tenth. The weather was a big factor according to coach Greg Dillon. “The wind that I saw was as bad as I’ve ever seen,” Dillon said. The Griffons finished with a team score of 675 on the par 72 course. Leading the Griffons was Jakob Rudosky, who recorded a 162 score in two rounds. Rudosky finished 12th individually, shooting and 80 and 82. “Jakob has been a real big surprise this spring,” Dillon said. “We’ve been expecting him to have a breakout year.” Ryan Hand had the second best score on the team and placed 22nd in the tournament with a score of 163. Then there was Corey Knight who finished 46th in the tournament with a score of 168. “Ryan is still in the hunt for a regional championship,” Dillon said. Oklahoma Christian won the tournament with a team score of 631 in the two round tourney. Central Oklahoma finished second with a score of 632 and third was Southwestern Oklahoma State with a score of 639. The team will return to action on April 4 for the Henderson State tournament in Mountain Home, Ark., at The Big Creek Golf Course. “We’ve had a pretty good start to the spring,” Dillon said. “But we’re looking for more.” The women’s team traveled to Axtell, Neb., for the UNK Spring Invite. The team finished ninth in the tournament with a team score of 646 over two rounds. Shi Qing Ong finished with the best individual score on the team, shooting 153 in her two rounds. Ong finished in 11th place individually. “Shi Qing has really stepped-up her game and she is really fun to watch,” Dillon said. Senior Callie Wilson was second on the team, shooting 163 and Madison Romjue was third on the team scoring a 164. Northeastern State University won the tournament with a team score of 607. The RiverHawks also produced the individual champion, Baylee Price. Price scored a 145 in the two-day event. The women will join the men in Arkansas for the Henderson State University Invitational. “We’ve got more regional tournaments and the conference tournament ahead of us,” Dillon said. “Our focus is to go after some of the top schools in the region.”
Griffon golf wrapped up their successful fall season and headed into the off-season looking to build upon their solid foundation. The women’s golf team finished all five tournaments in the top 10 including two top five finishes, with their highest place being second in their last match. Their high level of play has excited head coach Greg Dillon for the coming spring season. “We’re attaining some levels that we’ve never attained before,” said Dillon. “We’re finally getting closer and closer to where we might be able to compete with the Central Oks [Oklahoma] and Northeasterns for a conference championship. We’re just right behind them right now.” Freshman sensation Shi Qing Ong has already made an impact on the team. In her first five tournaments as a Griffon she has finished in the top 10 three times with two fourth place finishes and an eighth place finish. She has also placed in the top 15 twice with two 13th place finishes. Her consistent play has given Ong a position in the top 100 NCAA division II women golfers in the nation. Ong’s high level of play has even surprised Dillon. “We knew Shi Qing was going to be good, but we didn’t realize she was going to be this good,” Dillon said. “As a freshman, there’s no telling how far this kid can go.” Right behind Ong is sophomore Celine Lim who also put together a solid fall year. Lim compiled four top 20 finishes with two of those in the top 10 at ninth and third. “She’s just outside of the 100 [national ranking] and she’s just a sophomore, so it’s fun to watch.” Dillon said. The men’s golf team stung together their own solid fall season with two top 10 finishes, at fifth and sixth, as well as three top 15 finishes. Griffon top golfer Ryan Hand had three top 15 finishes including a fourth place finish at the MWSU Holiday Inn Express Classic. Golfers Corey Knight and Jakob Rudosky, whose best finishes were fourth and 27th respectively, round out Western’s top three this season. Dillon believes that the men need to play at their best at the same time in order for them to be more consistent. “What we’re hoping for in the spring with those three kids is to get them all playing well all at the same time, instead of each individually and they’re extremely close to attaining that,” Dillon said. Also, in the off-season, Dillon plans to find the most important piece for each team to be successful in the spring. “We just have to get the top three [players], that’s the whole key, getting those top three.” Dillon said. Western will have the opportunity to test their best top three from both teams when they begin their spring season.
Women's golf is off to a quality start in their fall season with two consecutive top-ten finishes. In the opening match at the Central Region Fall Preview, the Griffons finished in sixth place out of 19 teams with an overall score of 638. Freshman Shi Quing Ong lead Western with a total score of 154 and individually tied for 13th. For the second match of the season the Griffons traveled to the Northeastern State Golf Classic and once again finished in the top-ten, at 8th, with an overall score of 647. Ong lead Western with a score of 156 and 13th place finish. Right behind Ong was sophomore Celine Lim who shot a 157 and finished 14th.
Griffon womens' golf is in good hands for the next three-plus years. Freshman Celine Lim finished in a tie for fifth after leading the 75 golfer field after the first day of the two-day Holiday Inn Express Classic held at the St. Joseph Country Club. “I think she's not starting to peak, I think she’s on the upswing,” Griffon coach Greg Dillon said. The Griffons finished seventh overall in the team standings with 662. Arkansas Tech won the event, led by individual champion Rebecka Surtevall who shot a 151 and runner-up Taylor Kline who was just one shot behind her teammate. Kline and Lim entered the final day of competition tied with Northeastern State’s Baylee Price for the lead of the tournament at 75. “We feel we have two of the best freshmen in the country in (Lim) and Tiffanie [Yabut] and the scores are beginning to reflect that,” Dillon said. Lim got some fortunate bounces on the first day, but despite that it was very impressive for the young golfer from Selangor. “I felt like I had quite a few lucky shots," Lim said. “I would hit into a tree, bounce back onto fairway, it's all good. I felt like my mental game was a lot stronger on the [first day], [the first day] I came out to the course, I was just like, ‘oh, it's just another day at the country club.’” Lim's second round did not go as well for her, but she was still able to secure an 80 for the day and lock up her second straight top-10 finish. “I went back home and talked to my parents [after the first round] and I was like ‘I’ve never done this before, I’ve never been in the lead before, what am I supposed to do now.’ So it kind of got in my head a little bit,” Lim said. She finished tied for ninth at the Lindenwood Fall Invitational. “It’s going to be her second straight top-10 finish and that's going to bode well coming down the stretch and we’re excited. Let's put it this way: we have the building blocks to be a power house in the central region,” Dillon said. The supporting cast had consistency problems throughout the event, but Callie Wilson and Madison Romjue finished tied for 34th place with a 168 score. Tiffany Yabut and Amber Chivington finished with 177 scores, which were good to tie for 50th place in the 75 golfer field. “We’re not asking for perfection – just solid progress,” Dillon said. “They had their ups and downs, but overall we just got to remember we’re playing a 36-hole event for the girls and we’re playing about 30 of them. We've got to figure a way to get those other six.” Having the opening event of the spring season on their home-course was a great advantage for Western, and hopefully will spring the team into the second half of the golf season. “This gave me so much confidence, I know I can do this,” Lim said.