SAMMAMISH, Wash. -- No. 2 Washington got off to a sluggish start, but then found their groove, finishing in a tie for second place after two rounds at the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational. The Dawgs opened with a round of 13-over 301, but bounced back to shoot 1-over 289. No. 11 Stanford leads at 7-under, while the Huskies are tied with No. 31 Oregon for second place.
“It was a tough start for us,” said head coach Mary Lou Mulflur. “I thought we turned it around and really played well after we got those first nine holes under our belt. I don’t think I did a very good job of preparing our young players.”
The Huskies were led by veteran SooBin Kim who steady all day, shooting a round of 1-under 71 in the opening round and backing up with a round of 2-over 74. Kim is tied for fourth overall, eight strokes back of Mariko Tumangan of Stanford who leads at 7-under 137.
Luo shot a 4-over 76 in the opening round, but responded with a 1-under 71 in the afternoon. Mulflur was particularly proud of Luo who had her mom visiting for China in the gallery. However, due to weather delays, Luo’s mother had to leave to catch her flight with nine holes remaining.
“It was an emotional moment for Ying,” said Mulflur. “She isn’t going to see her mom again until Christmas, but she handled her emotions and finished the round very strong.”
Koga, who was playing in her first collegiate tournament, struggled to begin her first round and finished by shooting an 8-over 80. She was 7-over on the front nine and then righted to the ship to finish just 1-over on the back. With the nerves of the her first collegiate round behind her, Koga caught fire in round two, making six birdies and one bogey to fire a round of 5-under 67. The 67 was the second-best round of the day for someone experiencing her first day of collegiate competition.”
“To come out and be 7-over after nine holes, people with less gumption would crumble in that situation,” said Mulflur. “To shoot just 1-over on the back and then 67 in the second round when we really needed it – we learned a lot about her today.”
The other Husky to have both of her scores used was Charlotte Thomas, who despite not having her best day still managed to score well. Thomas shot a round of 2-over 74 to open the day and backed it up with a round of 5-over 77. She sits in a tie for 25th at 7-over 151.
“SooBin, Charlotte and Ying can’t play great all the time,” said Mulflur. “Sometimes they feel like they have to, but today they had a bit of an off day and that is going to happen. I just can’t say enough about their reliability, though. Sometimes we take it for granted, but it’s pretty much a given that they are going to go out and give you a good number.”
Finally, Monica Huang also struggled in round one, but came back to play much better in the afternoon. The sophomore was making just her second start for the Huskies and after a morning round of 86, Huang fought back to shoot a round of 5-over 77 in the afternoon. She is tied for 59th and 19-over.
Although the Dawgs are further off the lead than they hoped, Mulflur does see positives from this early season tournament.
“It’s early in the year and Stanford is a great team,” said Mulflur. “Getting Eimi and Monica these opportunities is only going to help us down the road.”
The final round of the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational begins at 7:45 a.m. on Wednesday, but the groups will not be repaired. The Dawgs and Cardinal will be paired together for the third-straight round.