Ali Nelson Wins Big Sky Championship
Complete Results: Big Sky
Photo Credit: Mackenzie Kasper, Big Sky
CHANDLER, Ariz. - The only player to shoot under par the entire tournament, Northern Colorado freshman Ali Nelson saved her best round for last to take the individual titlist honors at the 2009 Big Sky Conference Championship, helping lead the Bears to a sixth-place finish (949, 324-317-308) at the Ocotillo Golf Resort.
Nelson carded a one-under 71 in the final round, giving her a 222 for the tournament and the first conference championship honors for the Bears since Cecelia Rubeling won back-to-back North Central Conference titles in 1999 and 2000.
Entering the final round, Nelson was tied for third before tallying her 71, improving three strokes in each round. She opened with a 77 on Monday and shot a 74 on Tuesday.
"Last week when I was here (Cowgirl Classic) I started putting well,'' said Nelson, the first freshman since 2005 to win medalist honors. "I started getting a good feel for the greens. I hit the ball well and putted well at the same time. Yesterday I had to grind it out to shoot a low score. I was all over the place. Today it was fairways and greens.''
Fellow freshman Chelsea Silvers finished in a tie for 19th place after tying her first round total of 78 in the finals for a three-day total of 237. Senior Heather Daviner tied for 31st with a 243 after carding her best round of the tournament, 77, in the third and final round.
Sophomore Emily Dougherty and senior Katie Avery tallied 252 (84, 82, 86) and 253 (85, 86, 82), respectively to finish 39th and 40th.
Northern Arizona won its record-breaking sixth women's golf title, shooting a 914 (298, 309, 307). Sacramento State (920), Weber State (924), Montana (934) and Portland State (946) finished second through fifth, respectively, while Montana State (960), Eastern Washington (964) and Idaho State (984) rounded out the team scoring.
Rounding out the top five individually to earn All-Conference honors were Weber State's Emily Copier and Alexa Kim of Northern Arizona (225) in second, Ali Carter from Northern Arizona (226) in fourth and Carissa Simmons of Montana (227) in fifth.