SFU Stays The Course As WWU’s Worgum Ties Record
Simon Fraser placed all four of its scoring golfers in the top 10 to lead the field after the first day of the 2024 GNAC Women's Golf Championships. | Photo by Shawn Toner
Simon Fraser placed all four of its scoring golfers in the top 10 to lead the field after the first day of the 2024 GNAC Women's Golf Championships. | Photo by Shawn Toner

Monday, April 22, 2024
by Thomas Lal

COEUR d'ALENE, Idaho – After one trip through the Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course, the first day of the 2024 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Women’s Golf Championships has come to a record-equalling end.

Western Washington’s Emma Worgum leads the field through 18 holes with a 3-under-par 69 that ties the conference championships single-round record of 69 set by Simon Fraser’s Belinda Lin in 2019.

The sophomore from La Conner, Wash., opened her tournament on the right foot. carding the first of her tournament-leading six birdies on the very first hole of the day. Worgum went on to finish the front nine with a score of even-par 35 before coming down the back nine with three more birdies to cap off her record-tying performance.

Worgum has been no stranger to records this season with her latest high mark coming just three weeks after she set the Vikings’ program record with a 4-under-par 68 at the Sonoma State Spring Invitational in Rohnert Park, Calif. Worgum’s leading score puts her three strokes ahead of her nearest competitor.

Following Worgum in second place was Simon Fraser Dana Smith with a score of even-par 72. Smith was the highest-placed individual for the Red Leafs as she picked up a pair of birdies en route leading the team to the top of the day-one leaderboard. As a team, Simon Fraser placed all five of its golfers in the top 10 to finish the first round with a score of 10-over-par 298, six strokes ahead of second-place Western Washington and 17 strokes clear of third-place Northwest Nazarene.

Sueah Park
was the second-highest placed Red Leaf, following Smith in a tie for third place courtesy of a 1-over-par 73 alongside Saint Martin’s Kelsie Inouye. Park battled back from three bogeys in her first four holes to finish with four birdies on the day and open her GNAC Championships on a strong note. Kassie Muanyam wasn’t far behind Park, carding a 4-over-par 76 through her first-ever round at the tournament to tie for sixth.

Meera Minhas
rounded out the scoring effort for the Red Leafs on day one, carding a 5-over-par 77 to finish the day in eighth place. Minhas picked up three birdies on the day, including two on the back nine. Anaya Bhandal notched a top-10 finish in her first appearance at the GNAC Championships, finishing ninth on the day with a score of 6-over-par 78.

Western Washington also enjoyed a strong day on the course as it placed three of its scoring golfers in the top 10. Kasey Maralack was the first Viking to finish behind Worgum, carding a score of 3-over-par 75 to take fifth place after one round. Dani Bailey also made an appearance in the top 10 by carding a 7-over-par 79 to finish in a four-way tie for 10th.

Northwest Nazarene joined Western Washington in placing three golfers in the top 10 as Madison Gridley led the way for the Nighthawks. The senior from Meridian, Idaho, opened her tournament with a 4-over-par 76 to tie for sixth along with Muanyam. Two Nighthawks featured in the four-way tie for 10th as both Christine Cho and Tora Timinsky finished with scores of 7-over-par 79 with two birdies apiece.

The GNAC Women’s Golf Championships conclude tomorrow with the final round beginning at 7:30 a.m. (Pacific). The team champion will receive the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA Championships.