Chloe Weir told Kansas State women’s golf coach Kristi Knight she was nervous on the No. 12 tee box in the second round of the Jim West Invitational Monday evening, in San Marcos, Texas
“I’ve never been four under before,” Weir, a redshirt senior from Belfast, said in a release. Knight responded, saying “Well let’s get five under then, it’s not as nerve-wracking.”
Weir shot 4-under 68 and 5-under 139, both her lowest scores in her career, leading the Wildcats and tying for 12th place individually. Kansas State was in 10th place, tied with Florida State and UNLV, with 18 more to play on Monday.
“Chloe did a nice job, she holed a lot of putts, she saved a lot of pars,” Knight said. “She had a lot of good shots, she also had some shots that didn’t go to plan but she has the short game that she made some really quality saves.”
Weir had a hot start, shooting six birdies in the opening round and finishing the day with 10. Weir, junior Niamh McSherry (3-under 69) and sophomore Heather Fortushniak (2-under 70) were the three Wildcats that shot under par in the first round. Kansas State had 41 birdies on the day, which was the second most in the field. Weir had the third-most birdies individually with her 10.
Kansas State struggled opening in the second round, though. The team score reached 5-over in the first nine holes to drop down the leaderboard to seventh. The Wildcats put together 11 birdies over the last nine holes to salvage a 1-over for the round. Vargas shot a career-best 69 in the second round.
“The second round we got off to a rocky start,” Knight said. “The ladies battled back. I’m proud of them. Coach Jared (Helin) and I really like how the ladies responded. When you have a 36-hole day and have a really good start and then in the second round things get sideways, putts aren’t falling, it’s easy to lose your patience. The ladies hung in there. Lot of good things today, saw a lot of good golf shots. All in all it was a really positive day.”
McSherry shot Kansas State’s only eagle of the day in round one, on No. 3. Vargas’ low round was a recovery after shooting 3-over 75 in the first round. Fortushniak double-bogeyed two consecutive holes on the front nine in the second round to finish 3-over, and tied for 58th.
Junior Ried Issaac had an uncharacteristic performance, shooting 5-over and tying for 64th. This marked the first time Isaac hasn’t shot at or under par in the first 36 holes this season. Isaac shot birdies on No. 5 and No. 6 to help the Wildcats float in the standings at the end of the second round.
“Reid didn’t have the best day, but the competitor she is, she birdied those two holes,” Knight said. “She kept fighting and we needed that score this afternoon. Those two birdies by her late were big.”
The Jim West Invitational ends with 18 holes on Monday.