Men take first, Hopper wins for women
Westmont Golf hosted the Shootout at Rustic Canyon on Wednesday, inviting Occidental and Providence Christian to participate in the event. The trio of teams is significant to Westmont head coach Josh Ault who has coached at both Occidental and Providence Christian.
The Westmont men notched their second team win of the season, edging out Occidental by a score of 308 to 310. Providence Christian tallied 321.
“They got a win, which was nice,” noted Ault of his men’s team. “We have had two tournaments with three teams and we have gotten a win in both. That will help the team with their confidence going forward.”
Occidental’s Miles Eastman sat atop the leaderboard at the end of 18-holes, carding a two-over 74. One stroke back, in a three-way tie for runner-up, were Providence’s Marc Lengtat, Occidental’s Joshua Wong and Westmont’s Peyton Hendricks at 75 (+3).
“I think this course played about three or four shots more than our last tournament, so our scores are a little higher,” assessed Ault. “What we are looking for is consistency and we have guys shooting in the 70s with regularity. They are picking each other up and leaning into our strategy, which is what we are working on for long term results. I was really proud of that.”
Westmont’s Cooper Allen claimed fifth place with a score of 76 (+4). While Noah Lodewyk tied for six with a 77 (+5). Danny Manginelli posted a score of 78 (+6) to tie for ninth and Andy Knight shot a 79 (+7), taking 11th place.
The women’s tournament turned into an individual event with no team scores when Westmont was the only school to bring enough players to form a team. Westmont’s Mallory Hopper and Occidental’s Rachel Aujero tied for first place with a score of 82 (+10). With the win, Hopper becomes the first women’s golfer to win a tournament in Warrior history.
“Honestly, I wasn’t feeling that good about the round today,” admitted Hopper. “Obviously, I ended a lot better than I was expecting. There were struggles out there, but there definitely were some positives as well. I felt pretty solid off the tee, but around the green and irons I was not at my strongest today. Overall I wasn’t expecting (to finish first), but I am really happy about that.”
Hopper turned in scores of 41 on both the front and back nines.
“I really like the course,” said the freshman from Denver, Colorado. “I like playing in Arizona and it gave me the same feel with the native dessert areas and the different washes. I think I played to that strength, but it was tough. It is definitely not an easy course. I think I did pretty well adjusting for the wind. The greens were tough – there were a lot of tiered greens and you had to make sure you put it in the right place.”
Westmont’s Elizabeth Oloteo claimed third place just two strokes off the lead with a score of 84 (+12). Sydnee Magpoc carded an 85 (+13) to finish fourth and Meredith McDougal claimed fifth with a score of 88 (+16).
“I am super proud of Mallory,” said Ault. “She was a little frustrated at her play but I helped her keep perspective because it is a hard course. Elizabeth shot an 84 as a freshman, so good for her.
“We have been talking with the women’s team about speed in putting. We think that is an area where we can technically get better and shave strokes off.”
Westmont will next be in action Oct. 11-12 when they participate in the TMU Dutch Classic at the Alisal Ranch Course in Solvang.
Ron Smith is the sports information director at Westmont College.