Clan Garners Team Of The Week With Championships Record
Emily Leung led Simon Fraser to its second consecutive GNAC Championships title on Tuesday with a score of 48-over-par 616. <i>Photo by Shawn Toner</i>
Emily Leung led Simon Fraser to its second consecutive GNAC Championships title on Tuesday with a score of 48-over-par 616. Photo by Shawn Toner

Monday, May 1, 2017

PORTLAND, Ore. – Simon Fraser women’s golf set the GNAC Championships course record at the Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course to win its second straight conference title and earn selection as the Red Lion/GNAC Team of the Week.

After setting the GNAC course record at 617 en route to last year’s conference title, the Clan did one better this year, carding a 48-over-par 616 at the 5,914-yard course to win the GNAC Championships by a convincing 19-stroke margin. The Clan also claimed the top-two spots individually with Emily Leung winning her first collegiate title followed by Kylie Jack in second place.

“We knew going into the conference tournament that all the pressure was on us to defend our title,” interim head coach Matt Steinbach said, “but we also knew that if we stayed patient and played smart, then we would have an excellent chance to repeat. The team stuck to our game plan and they played well in tough conditions.”

Leung shot a 5-over-par 147 and Jack shot an 11-over-par 153 for the top two spots. Each of Simon Fraser’s top-four finishers were inside the top 10 overall with Jaya Rampuri and Belinda Lin tying for sixth place at 16-over-par 158.

Simon Fraser led from the outset with the help of Leung shooting a 1-under-par 70 in the opening round to take a five-shot lead over the rest of the 30-player field. Jack was in third place at 5-over-par 76 after the first day’s action, helping the Clan take an eight-shot lead into Tuesday.

In the second round, Rampuri, Jack and Leung all produced equal scores of 6-over-par 77 under tough weather conditions. In the final nine holes, Leung shot an even-par 36 to extend her lead over the two other players in her group seven shots.

“It’s awesome to be able to finish strong,” Leung said. “On the front nine, I struggled a bit because of the weather, but on the back nine, I got in a rhythm and everything started to come together. It feels great to get this title as a team, it’s something that we’ve worked really hard towards.”

For Jack, it is her second consecutive top-three finish at the Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course, while Lin also placed in the top-10 for the second year in a row.

The conference title was the crowning achievement for a team that has faced an inordinate amount of adversity this season. In January, long-time Simon Fraser head coach John Buchanan passed away after decades of service to not only the golf team, but the entire Simon Fraser athletics department.

“I’m very happy for the team,” Steinbach said. “It’s been a difficult season, losing legendary head coach John Buchanan in January, but the women rallied together through this challenging time. They have represented, themselves, Simon Fraser and Buchanan with grace and perseverance.”

This is the Clan’s second consecutive conference title after ending Western Washington’s five-year dominance at the GNAC Championships in 2016. Simon Fraser will find out if it advances to the NCAA West/South Central Super Regional later this afternoon.