Western takes title at Sonoma State Invitational by 14 strokes

Claire Rachor

Oct. 20, 2009

Complete Results

SANTA ROSA, Calif. - Two Bellingham High School graduates, freshman Claire Rachor and junior Katie Sharpe, finished one-two in medalist play, leading Western Washington University to its second title in three years at the Sonoma State University Women's Golf Invitational Tournament which ended Tuesday at the Santa Rosa Golf and Country Club.

The Vikings shot a final-round 9-over par 297, the best round of the day by 20 strokes, for a 36-hole total of 615. That was 14 shots better than runner-up and first-day leader Cal State Monterey Bay (318=629).

"It was awesome," said Western coach Bo Stephan. "We definitely got off to a way better start ... I don't remember the last time I've seen this kind of a turnaround."

It was the second straight tourney win for Western, which entered the day third, trailing CSUMB by seven shots. The Vikings won their own WWU Invitational last week.

Rachor fired a 2-under par 70 and Sharpe had a 1-over 73, the two best rounds of the tournament, to finish at 5-over 149 and 6-over 150, respectively. Sharpe, a transfer from NCAA Division I Santa Clara, was tied for sixth after Monday's opening round and Rachor was tied for 10th.

"They both played rock solid," Stephan said. "Katie had one of the best ball-striking tournaments I've seen, but didn't putt the ball very well ... Claire hit a phenomenal shot on hole No.1, the 10th of her round, holing out a shot from the rough that traveled 140 yards."

CSUMB's Cicilia Chudivan placed third at 152 (77) and first-day leader Brittany Carrera from host Sonoma State was fourth at 154 (80).

Western's Sophie Elstrott (So., Eugene, OR/South Eugene) tied for 14th at 159 (76), Alexandria Taylor (So., Sammamish/Eastlake) tied for 21st at 161 (82), and Christa Goldie (Jr., Mukilteo/Kamiak) placed 23rd at 163 (78).

Western completes the fall portion of its schedule on Oct. 26-27, participating in the CSUMB Invitational.