Hope Neidhold’s final season as a Columbia Basin College women’s golfer came down to a spectacular finish that gave the Richland native everything she’d dreamed of.
Neidhold, who was named the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges women’s player of the year at the league banquet Sunday night, waged a back-and-forth battle with Leslie Guzman of Olympic on Monday during the final round of the NWAACC championships at Horn Rapids Golf Course in Richland.
Brady Caulkins won the NWAACC men’s individual title, carding matching rounds of 69 to beat runners-up Max Tuckner of Bellevue (144) and Evan Omelia of Spokane (144) by six strokes.
Spokane’s men won the team title with a score of 577, beating Olympic (599) by 22 strokes.
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Neidhold sank a five-foot par putt on the 18th hole following a birdie by Guzman that clinched the individual championship and closed out CBC’s fifth women’s team championship.
She closed out the tournament with a two-over par 74 to finish the two-day tournament at 158.
Guzman, who took over the overall lead by one stroke after Neidhold bogeyed the first hole, finished at 159.
“I was making myself a little nervous. I chunked (the chip on 18) a little, but I knew I was confident two-putting for par, “ Neidhold said. “It was such a fun day.”
The two players were familiar with one another after several NWAACC outings during the regular season.
“We got close over the course of the season. When we were done with nine, we both went to the bathroom, and she said, ‘We’re tied, aren’t we?’ ” Neidhold said. “We were giggling about it.”
Neidhold wasn’t the only one to shine.
Her teammate Janci Spoo finished third overall, carding a two-day total of 166.
She was named second-team All-NWAACC at the banquet, while teammates Bri Hadler and Abby McMinn were each named to the first team.
Hawks coach Dan Clifford, who earned his second women’s title, was named NWAACC women’s coach of the year.
Asked which title she valued more, Neidhold couldn’t decide.
“I think they’re both equally important to me,” she said. “I went undefeated as an individual this season, but so did my team. It was a good feeling to go out with them.”
At Horn Rapids (par 72)
Team scores—Spokane 577, Olympic 599, SWOC 599, Bellevue 613, CBC 614, Walla Walla 618, Skagit Valley 621, Green River 642, Grays Harbor 701.
Top 10—1, Brady Caulkins (Spokane) 69-69—138; 2 (tie), Max Tuckner (Bellevue) 68-76—144, Evan Omelia (Spokan) 71-73—144, Keynan Fanslow (Olympic), 71-73—144; 5, Cole Lorenzo (Spokane) 73-73—146; 6 (tie), Sean Adams (CBC) 75-72—147, Cole Chavez (SWOC) 71-76—147; 7, Connor Dennison (Skagit Valley) 73-76—149; 8 (tie), Cooper Wright (Spokane) 149, Jack Tumlinson (CBC) 74-75—149, Grant Geelan (Walla Walla) 74-75—149. CBC—Brendan Cox 81-78—159, Derek Wood 82-82—164, Josh Garza 78-71—159, John Wilson 84-81—165. Walla Walla—Eli Mendez 76-83—159, Tannen Potter 77-79—156, Bradley Young 88-78—166, Mason Palmer 79-80—159, Jordan Halladay 82-80—162.
At Horn Rapids (par 72)
Team scores—CBC 498, Spokane 531, Centralia 550, Olympic 552, SWOC 555, Bellevue 589.
Top 10—1, Hope Neidhold (CBC) 84-74—158; 2, Leslie Guzman (Olympic) 85-74—159; 3, Janci Spoo (CBC) 87-79—166; 4, Megan Schultz (Centralia) 88-81—169; 5, Alexandria McQuearie (SWOC) 88-82—170; 6, Jennifer Puckett (Green River) 90-83—173; 7, Abbey McMinn (CBC) 87-87—174; 8, Bridgit Rypien (Spokane) 87-89—176; 9, Sam Saleba (Bellevue) 177; 10, Kelsey Bigness (Walla Walla) 95-83—178. CBC—Casey Tucker 89-86—185; Bri Hadler 89-WD. Walla Walla—Shay Jones 97-88—185.