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Rough Shooting Plagues NAU Golf, Eyes Set on Big Sky Tournament

YORBA LINDA, Calif. – Northern Arizona University's women's golf team completed play at the Gold Rush tournament hosted by Long Beach State. The Lumberjacks finished 11th overall, shooting rounds of 321, 331 and 318.

"I am extremely disappointed in how we performed," said head coach Brad Bedortha. "The effort was not where we needed it to be and the competitiveness and focus was lacking."

After digging themselves into a hole during the first day of play, the Lumberjacks posted their best round of the tournament on the final day. NAU's Kaitlen Parsons (80-82-79), Brittany McKee (77-87-79), and Susana Mejia (79-85-79) each shot 79's on the final day to the lead the group.

Also contributing for the Lumberjacks was Jacquie LeMarr and Savana Bezdicek who shot rounds of 85-80-81 and 85-84-88, respectively.

"We had some positives coming out of the event," said Bedortha. "Sometimes as coaches and players we take shots for granted and think it is going to be easy when golf is a difficult sport. I'm disappointed in myself as a coach because I did not have the team as prepared as they should've been; that will not happen again."

The Lumberjacks' mental toughness was tested on the final day of play as they were coming off a second round score of 331, the second-worst round of the season for the group. Although the standings do not show it, NAU bounced back improving by 13 shots in the final round.

NAU will compete at the Big Sky Championships in a three-day tournament beginning on April 20. The team is the reigning Big Sky Champion but will need to regain their confidence in order to defend their title.

"Last year we didn't play well in our final tournament before conference, but we ended up winning the conference championship," Bedortha said. "Rest assured that my players and I will be working hard to get prepared for the conference championships. We will be ready to play our best golf."

Bedortha's group outshot Portland State by 10 shots at last week's Mountain View Intercollegiate, proving they are a serious threat within the Big Sky. The Vikings of Portland State have been favored to win the conference all season.

Notes: JoJo Sottile (77-84-83)