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Heather Bruce, a 2009 graduate of Enterprise High School, was named the Frontier Conference’s player of the year after taking fifth place at the conference tournament. (Courtesy photo)
Enterprise graduate helps Lewis-Clark reach nationals
Heather Bruce was a three-time district golf champion for Enterprise High School.
Now, the 2009 graduate is making a name for herself in the college ranks.
Bruce led Lewis-Clark State College to the Frontier Conference championship at Larchmont Golf Course in Missoula, Mont., April 30.
The LCSC women finished with a two-day, 54-hole total of 961 and cruised to a 24-stroke win, qualifying for the national tournament for the first time since 2009.
“It was definitely a goal of ours this year,” Bruce said. “Not only to win the conference but to make it to nationals.”
Bruce finished fifth overall with a three-round total of 241 under poor weather conditions.
“The weather was really bad. So it was a battle with your game, as well as a battle with the weather,” Bruce said. “The key for us was to just stick with it and relying on our strengths.”
She admitted that it was a struggle for her personally.
“It was a rough tournament. The swing just wasn’t there,” Bruce said. “But I can’t complain.”
Frontier’s top golfer
Bruce was named the conference’s player of the year just two years after receiving freshman of the year honors for the conference.
She was also a first-team all-Frontier Conference selection and given the Champion of Character award.
“I haven’t shot that well score-wise this year,” Bruce said. “But I played solid golf. I have high expectations for myself, so I don’t think they’ll ever be met.”
This year was highlighted by Bruce’s first-ever sub-70 round (69), which she shot at the final regular-season tournament at Wingpointe Golf Course in Salt Lake City, Utah, April 15-16.
The round helped put Bruce in first place in the league-scoring race, which she went on to win by seven strokes over two-time player of the year, Brandi Bork, of
Bruce had trailed in the scoring race by six strokes entering the tournament.
“It was a lot of work,” Bruce said. “I knew I had to make up strokes. But it means a lot to have that under my belt now.”
Bruce goes to nationals
Bruce and her teammates are now preparing for the national tournament, which will be played in Lincoln, Neb., May 21-24.
“We want to make the cut, either as a team or have an individual make the cut,” Bruce said. “Just play golf and have fun.”
She said that the Warriors have a complete team this year. That’s been the key to their success.
“We’ve had a really good year. Everyone on the team is playing well. It’s just been a team effort this year,” Bruce said.
Her coach, Paul Thompson, was named the Frontier Conference’s coach of the year for the sixth time. He also likes the make-up of his women’s team this year.
“They’re playing good, solid golf,” Thompson said. “We’re pretty strong one through five. We thought we would do well this year, but we didn’t know we’d do as well as we have.”
Win or lose in Nebraska, Bruce is already thinking long term about her future in golf.
“This summer, I’ll be traveling around teaching golf to kids 12 to 18 year old. I’ll also be a leader in Bible studies. Faith is a big part of my life,” Bruce said.
“Who knows, maybe it will lead me to LPGA events,” she said.