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Taylor captures NCAA golf stop

Nelson’s Lauren Taylor has made a bold statement in her freshman year at Portland State.
Nelson's Lauren Taylor is off to a fine start in her NCAA golf career after winning a tournament last week.

Nelson’s Lauren Taylor has made a bold statement in her freshman year at Portland State.

The Granite Pointe Golf Course-raised player captured the NCAA Division I Folino Invitational last week in California becoming the first freshman in school history to capture a golf tournament title. Taylor shot an even-par 70-74=144 to win the tournament played at Oak Creek Golf Club in Fullerton.

The Portland State Viking seven player squad held the team lead in the tournament by three shots after the first round, but dropped to third place on the second day shooting a team score of 308. Both Long Beach State (first) and UC Irvine (second) shot 300 on day-two, passing the Vikings.

Taylor was the story of the week for the Vikings. In the opening round she had three birdies and one bogey in taking the first-round lead with a two-under par 70. The first year player had three birdies and five bogeys in the second round for a two-over 74. Her 144 total gave Taylor a relatively easy four-stroke win over Patty Chawakitmetha of UC Irvine and Simone Hoey of Long Beach State. Each shot 72-76=148 for the tournament.

Taylor's best score in seven previous competitive rounds this year was 75.

Taylor also tied a school record by shooting an even-par score for a 36-hole tournament. It has been accomplished just once before, by Rebecca Randolph who shot 72-72=144 at the Bobcat Desert Classic in 2003.

The eight-team tournament was hosted by Cal State Fullerton. The Oak Creek Golf Club is a par-72, 6,238-yard course.

Taylor just turned 19 and this is her first season of NCAA golf. She attended the Brent Morrison Golf Academy on Vancouver Island in her last two years of high school. Last season Taylor finished 10th in the B.C. Girls Championship and took sixth in the B.C. Women’s Amateur which earned her a spot on the Canadian women’s national team.

For her win last week Taylor was named the Big Sky Conference golfer of the week. She was also named the Vancouver Sun athlete of the week.

Taylor and her Vikings teammates are at the Anteater Invitational in Santa Margarita this week for a tournament hosted by the University of California Irvine. The two-round event is being played at Dove Canyon Country Club.

- with files from Mike Lund/Portland State


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