SUU Strategic Communications

Thunderbirds Open Play At Big Sky Championships In Boulder City

April 21, 2017
By SUU Strategic Communication

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BOULDER CITY, Nev. - The Thunderbird women’s golf team opened up play at the 2017 Big Sky Championships on Friday, finishing play in a tie for sixth place as a team on a windy day at Boulder Creek Golf Club.

Senior Taylor Viquelia and freshman Poy Prasurtwong set the pace for the Thunderbirds, both finishing the first day of competition with a 79. That score puts them in a tie for 15th place on the leaderboard.

“I feel like I was striking the ball really well today,” Viquelia said about her round. “The ball just wouldn’t stay on the green. With the wind, I’d either club up too much or not enough. Overall, I think I played okay all things considered.”

Prasurtwong, the 2017 Big Sky Freshman of the Year, is in her first action at a Big Sky Tournament. SUU head coach Richard Church said she is handling the challenge very well.

“She got off to a rough start but I was pleased with the way she was able to grind out a respectable round. She was six-over through the first seven holes, but only played one-over through the last 11 holes,” he said. “So I was really pleased that even though she didn’t get off to the start she would have preferred, that she was able to salvage a respective round on a tough day.”

Viquelia said the difference in pressure is noticeable from regular season tournaments to a conference championship, and it’s something that teams have to adjust to quick.

“I feel like it’s because you know there’s a big title on the line, and if you win this you get to go to regionals,” she said. “Here you have tee-times and they announce your name, where at normal tournaments it’s always a shotgun start, so it’s a really different feeling.”

Nicole Jones finished third for the Thunderbirds and in a tie for 18th on the leaderboard after shooting an 80.

Kyla Smith was fourth for the Thunderbirds and in a tie for 44th overall with an 85 and Miranda Reyes finished the day with a 90 that put her in a tie for 54th.

The T-Birds ended the day in a tie with Weber State and Eastern Washington after shooting 323 as a team.

The Vikings of Portland State are the top team through 18 holes, shooting a 309. They are followed by Sacramento State (310) in second and Northern Colorado (311) in third.

Northern Arizona’s Sofia Anokhina, who was recently named Big Sky Player of the Year, sits atop the leaderboard following one round of play.

The second round will be played on Saturday morning with the third and final round scheduled for Sunday morning. SUU’s first tee-time on Saturday is set for 9:30 MT (8:30 local time).

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Live stats can be followed through all three rounds at