Men Win Husky Invitational, Women Begin Aagaard Era
The men entered Seattle and were voiced against the University of Washington, while the women had a strong showing in Wisconsin.
It’s a new era for Mrs. Cougar golf as head coach has been hired to pair with the youth roster. This season will be the maiden voyage of head coach Sofie Aagaard, who was hired in May, according to WSU Athletics.
The women followed the football team’s lead and flew to Madison, Wisconsin for the season opener at the Badger Invitational on Sunday. Last season, the Cougar team ranked fifth among 12 other teams, led by then-rookie Madelyn Gamble. On the weekend. the team tied for fourth alongside the other two teams from North Florida and Wisconsin, all with a score of 876 according to golfstat.com.
The Cougs received the most pars in the tournament with 180, 12 more than the next closest team.
The Lady Cougars were led by both Australian redshirt Darcy Habgood and Jinyu Wu, the sophomore redshirt from China, who finished with a score of 217.
At a press conference, manager Aagaard noted how the entire nine-man roster remains competitive and fans are likely to see different lineups throughout the season.
Ms. Cougars will embark on a nine-course season across the country before participating in the PAC-12 Championship and then returning to Pullman for the NCAA West Regionals held at Palouse Ridge Golf Club.
Last season, women’s golf finished with a tenth place finish at the 2022 PAC-12 Women’s Golf Championship in Eugene, Oregon, where hometown Ducks took first place.
“The team’s goal is always to improve one day every day. If we can continue to implement the things that we put into practice, we will know that we will become better every day in every competition and training session that we have. I think it’s a great success,” Aagaard said.
The men packed their bags and flew west just a day later, on Monday, to compete in the Husky Invitational in Bremerton under Dustin White, fifth-year coach and Cougar’s former colleague.
The Cougars will play in a series of West Coast competitions and return to Palouse in mid-March to take on the Vandals at the Bandon Dunes Championship.
Last season, the Cougars finished ninth from sixteenth at the Husky Invitational. The men later concluded their season with a 12th-place performance at the PAC-12 championship located in Sammamish, led by Canadian veteran Max Sekulic.
Coach White looked confident before the invite.
“I think we’re ready…but I think we’re all excited to hit the road and see what’s in store for us,” he said.
And they were ready when the Cougs finished first, while rival Huskies finished third. The Cougs fell to rival Huskies for first place last year, but revenge is sweet.
California junior Jaden Cantafio led the men’s team with a score of 213, while teammate Pono Yanagi, the Hawaii veteran, was just one point behind.
Both women’s and men’s golf have had great success in their opening tournaments and hope to see progression as the season progresses.