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WWU takes second in Women’s Golf Invitational at home

Dani Bailey finishes highest for Western, tying for third overall

Viking golfer (left) walks with two opponents through the fairway at Bellingham Golf and Country Club in Bellingham, Wash. on Oct. 9, 2023. This was part of the WWU Invitational which hosted six schools Oct. 9-10. // Photo by Madi Tessem

Western Washington University hosted its first and only home event of the season with the Women’s Golf Invitational taking place Oct. 9-10. Western finished in second place with Dani Bailey leading the way for the team.

There were a total of six other teams invited to this event, including University of British Columbia Okanagan, Simon Fraser University, Dominican University of California, St. Martins University, Montana State Billings and University of Victoria

As the only event of the season at Western, this was Bailey’s final home tournament. She earned the lowest score of her at-home career and achieved her second best college finish overall.

Bailey finished 3+ par with a total of 147 after both rounds, tying for third place overall. Bailey is an athletic senior but an academic junior from Queenstown, New Zealand, and has been golfing for Western since the 2020-21 season.

“My favorite hole for the tournament was 17,” Bailey said. “I managed to birdie it both days and I got pretty confident playing that hole over the last few years.”

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Western Washington University women's golfer Dani Bailey teeing off the third hole at Bellingham Golf and Country Club in Bellingham, Wash. on Oct. 9, 2023. This was the first day of the WWU Invitational. // Photo by Madi Tessem

Coming from New Zealand, Bailey does not have family nearby to watch her play. Coach Luke Bennett brought his parents to the course to watch her first-ever tournament at Western. He was able to bring them back to watch her in her final tournament as well.

“Getting them to come and see me play in my last home event obviously was very emotional and sentimental to me because I’d made so many improvements here,” Bailey said.

Bennett was on the course both days supporting players. The team was just shy of first place, coming in two strokes behind UBC Okanagan

“Everyone gave their all and everyone scored under 80 both days, which I am very proud of,” Bennett said.

The Vikings spent most of the second round battling to achieve the top spot in the tournament.

“I am very hopeful that this will give the ladies some confidence for the upcoming tournament,” Bennett added.

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Western Washington University women's golfer Lauren Lee sets up her putt on the first hole in Bellingham, Wash. This was day one of the WWU Invitational hosting six teams from Oct. 9-10, 2023. // Photo by Madi Tessem

Coming into the tournament, Western’s Lauren Lee was ranked first on the team and finished with a tie for second on Western’s team with Emma Worgum. Lee finished 6+, tying for eighth place overall with a total score of 150 at the end of the tournament.

“I feel like I could’ve done better,” Lee said. “But I was satisfied with how I was able to bounce back after a couple rough holes and get a birdie at the end.”

Lee is a sophomore from Colorado Springs who transferred to Western after their former golf program was cut. Before Colorado Springs, she attended Biola University where she was awarded PacWest co-Freshman of the Year and Second Team All-PacWest.

“I had a lot of fun spending time with the girls and meeting new people,” Lee said. “It was really fun to be out there again.”

The Vikings had a successful tournament, placing second as a team and individually scoring under 80 both days. The team will take a trip to Hawai‘i to compete in the Hawai‘i Pacific University Sharks Shootout and the Dennis Rose Intercollegiate Tournaments from Oct. 23-28.

Madi Tessem

Madi Tessem is a sports reporter for The Front this quarter. She is a PR major and communications minor. In her free time she likes to read, watch sports and hangout with her cat. You can reach her at 

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