Cardinal Challenge golf tourney begins today at Beaumont CC

Published 11:11 pm Thursday, March 16, 2017

Lamar sports information

BEAUMONT — The Lamar women’s golf team will host an in-season tournament at the Beaumont Country Club for the first time in more than a decade this weekend, as eight teams plus the Cardinals compete in the Cardinal Challenge that runs today through Sunday.

“We’re excited to be able to play a tournament on our home course,” LU coach Jessica Steward said. “Our players are really looking forward to it.”

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Competing against the Cardinals this weekend are Bradley, Cleveland State, Detroit Mercy, Fairleigh Dickinson, Indiana State, Prairie View A&M, Southern Illinois and UTRGV. The teams will play one round each day on the 6,008-yard, par-71 layout. Opening tee times are 8 a.m. today, 1 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday. There is no admission charge.

“This is spring break for a lot of schools, so this is there chance to come to Texas and play outside on green grass,” Steward said. “I developed good relationships with several of these teams when I coached at IPFW (Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne), so I am happy to see them down here in Beaumont.

“There are some good teams in the field, teams that have beaten us in the past. We can’t afford to take any team for granted.”

The Cardinals have had an impressive season so far, finishing in the top three in five of six events, including taking home top honors at the Bob Hurley ORU Shootout in September. LU freshman Elodie Chapelet earned medalist honors three times this season, while Wenny Chang and Olivia Le Roux have each finished at the top once.

Chapelet leads LU with a scoring average of 74.38 strokes per round with a low round of 67. Chang, the two-time Southland Conference Women’s Golfer of the Year, averages 76.50 strokes per round, while Le Roux averages 77.25 strokes per round. Felicia Sauceda who averages 79.75 strokes per round. LU’s fifth starter is Maia Jessup, whose average is 82.70. Kura Poko, who averages 87.00 strokes per round, will compete as an individual.

“Wenny will play at No. 1 this weekend,” Steward said. “She’s a senior and deserves that honor as she finally gets to play on our home course.”

LU looks to rebound from its toughest outing of the season, a seventh-place finish at the Islander Classic in Corpus Christi at the end of February.

“We’ve been working hard to get our games back to where they need to be,” Steward said. “We’re hoping that work pays off this weekend.”