Fresno State’s women’s golf program added another Mountain West (MW) champion to its record books on Wednesday, April 17 at Mission Hills Country Club.
Sophomore Brigitte Thibault finished on top in the contest, claiming a three round wire-to-wire win to become the second MW individual champion and fourth individual conference champion in program history, according to a Fresno State Athletics news release.
Thibault said she was excited about her win not only because it brings a championship to Fresno State, but for the opportunities that the win brings.
Mission hills is where the Qualifying School is located. The school is used for the annual qualifying tournaments for leading golf tours such as the PGA and LPGA Tours, and where the All Nippon Airways Inspiration tournament is held, which is one of the five major championships in professional women’s golf.
“I’m so glad to get my first collegiate event win at conference championships, at Mission Hills, because that’s where the Q School is. That’s where the ANA is. It’s a lot on the future opportunities,” Thibault said in the release. “I’m really proud of myself to step it up at this major championship. I’m really happy.”
Thibault earned her MW Championship by entering the final round with a four-shot lead and clinched the title with a two-shot win over the next best three round score, carding a 4-over par 76 on Wednesday.
Thibault’s lead took a bit of a hit with four bogeys on the back nine. Nevertheless, her work in rounds one and two, a first round 1-under 71 and a second round 2-under 70 ultimately earned the win, as she owned two of the three under par rounds carded by the entire championship field throughout the three-day event.
Bulldogs head coach Emily Loftin told Fresno State Athletics that she was proud of Thibault’s performance and how she composed herself throughout the tournament.
“[I’m] Really proud of Brigitte,” Loftin said in the release. “Excellent play over three days, and she learned to manage herself with having a lead, and it’s great to see that type of growth in a young player.”
Thibault will be looking to get an invitation to participate as an individual during the NCAA Women’s Golf selection show on April 24, with the 2019 NCAA Regionals being held on May 6-8, followed by the NCAA Championships, May 17-22.
As a team, the Bulldogs finished fifth, which was aided by another top 10 individual finish secured by freshman Harriet Lynch.
The freshman placed tied for ninth in her first championship event, 11 shots back. While improving each day, Lynch moved from tied for 22nd after round one (79) to tied for 12th after round two (73) and up into a tie for ninth following the final round (76).
Redshirt junior Kristin Simonsen finished the tournament tied for 32nd, while freshman Jessica Hall and junior Dominika Gradeckaboth capped the event tied for 34th.
“Wasn’t the strongest finish for us as a team, but we have good things happening,” Loftin told Fresno State Athletics. “We have every player from this team returning, so we will definitely have depth with some seasoned veterans coming back looking to take some revenge here at the conference championships.”