CORVALLIS, Ore. - There must be something about freshmen when it comes to school records on the Gonzaga University's women's golf team.
For the second time in four years a freshman has been involved in a record-setting day in her first collegiate tournament, Raychelle Santos firing a 3-under par 67 Tuesday to match teammate Victoria Fallgren's school-record low round and setting a school-record 54-hole total of 215.
Santos climbed from a tie for 16th to finish fifth at the Oregon State Invitational at the 6,141-yard, par 72 Trysting Tree Golf Club and in the process helped Gonzaga to a third-place finish with a school-record 54-hole score of 891.
It was Sept. 15, 2009, when current Bulldog senior Victoria Fallgren shattered the school record of 70 with a final-round 67 at the Bulldog and Eagle Invitational at Spokane's Hangman Valley Golf Course in her collegiate debut. Fallgren's 54-hole score of 217 gave her the school record and medalist honors for the tournament.
The Bulldogs also set a 54-hole tournament record this week of 891 with rounds of 294-301-296, breaking the old mark of 896 (300-299-297) set in 2008 at the Heather Farr Memorial Invitational. Gonzaga had an 897 last season.
"I'm happy about how the team battled. A couple of players weren't having their best day, but they scrambled and battled," Gonzaga head coach Brad Rickel said.
Overshadowed somewhat Tuesday by Santos was Fallgren, who finished 10th after rounds of 71-74-73 for a 54-hole score of 218.
"Victoria was solid like always," Rickel said. "She kept plugging along making pars."
Fallgren bogeyed the first hole, made birdie on the par 5 fifth, bogeyed the sixth and then reeled off 12 straight pars to end her round of 1-over par 73.
But the effort by Santos was especially gratifying to Rickel.
"I'm thrilled for Raychelle to shoot a 67 in the final round," Rickel said. "We needed her score. Without her score we get passed by a couple of schools. Her 5-under par was a welcome score," Rickel said.
Santos got off to a fast start on the front nine with birdies on the par 4 second and eighth holes, and on the 512-yard par 5 fifth hole. Her lone bogey of the day came on the difficult 11th and she also got back-nine birdies on the par 4 12th and 16th as well as the 472-yard par 5 14th.
"She hit great shots and stayed calm. What I noticed the most was as she got deeper into the round she continued to remain calm. Today was a big deal for the team and a big deal for Raychelle," Rickel said.
The Bulldogs will be right back in action next Monday and Tuesday when they compete in the WSU Cougar Cup hosted by Washington State University at Palouse Ridge Golf Course in Pullman, Wash.