Seattle U Women’s Golf Finishes Third at WAC Championships

The Seattle University women’s golf team persevered through the pandemic to close out its 2021 spring season with a respectable third place team finish at the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Championships held at Boulder Creek Golf Club in Boulder City, Nev. 

New Mexico State University won the team title posting a combined stroke total of 9-over par. Grand Canyon women placed second, followed by Seattle U, Utah Valley and UT Rio Grande Valley. Utah Valley freshmen Victoria Estrada shot a final round score of 71 to become the first female golfer from UVU to win the WAC individual title. 

The following five golfers represented Seattle U in the tournament: Senior Kimberlee Tottori, Senior Keisha Lugito, Sophomore Megan Kelly, Junior Sammantha Bruce and Sophomore Azumi Arai. The Redhawks finished with a combined team score of 38-over par 902.

Tottori led Seattle U as she finished the WAC Championships in a tie for third place at 2-over par. She recorded a score of 71 in the first round, 72 in the second and 75 in the final round. Despite not winning the competition, she led all golfers in par three scoring at 3-under par and finished the season with her best performance. Lugito (75-76-77) and Kelly (78-75-75) tied for 15th place, while Bruce (76-75-81) and Arai (75-80-80) wound up with three round totals of 232 and 235.

Tottori expressed how she feels in the wake of competing at the WAC Championships.

“It was a bittersweet feeling as it was my last tournament. I am content with how I performed and finished off my senior season and college career. I was lucky to have a season at all,” Tottori said.

Despite the team finishing strong, Tottori, Lugito and Bruce revealed that their team was dissatisfied with their performance during this season. They hope that SU women’s golf team will do better in the future.

“Last year, when the pandemic hit was our chance to do well. This year the overall team hasn’t satisfied our performance standards, especially because the season was cut short and we started without much practice in the fall. Yet, the team will strive to do better in years to come, especially with the freshman coming,” Lugito said.

Additionally, on April 23, Bruce was voted onto the All-WAC second team by the nine WAC women’s golf head coaches. She was one of two Redhawks to play all 16 rounds this season during which she achieved an average score of 74.44. Bruce won the individual title at the Bobcat Spring Invitational where she set a new Seattle U women’s golf program record for the lowest score in a 36 hole tournament. She also had one top-10 finish and three top-20 this season.

Bruce highlighted how emotional she felt when she received this honor.

“Despite all the bad things that happened this season, I was happy that I won. It makes me want to strive harder for future seasons and to inspire future teammates that that is possible,” Bruce said.

With Tottori and Lugito among five seniors leaving the team, Bruce is aware that she will need to take on more of a leadership role to mentor the six freshmen newcomers. She has high hopes for next season as she wants the team to do great in conference and make it to regionals for the first time in program history.