Megan Billeter set a Western Washington University record with a 4-under-par 68 in the first round of the Saint Martin’s Invitational in Dupont, Wash., on Sept. 13. (Courtesy WWU Athletics)

Megan Billeter made an impressive return to competitive golf for the Western Washington Vikings on Sept. 13.

The redshirt junior from Mt. Spokane, who sat out the pandemic-shortened spring season to preserve her eligibility, put together a school-record, 4-under-par 68 in the first round of the Saint Martin’s Invitational, igniting the Vikings to the team championship in the season opener.

“Megan was on cruise control today,” coach Luke Bennett said of her first round of the fall that included six birdies, 10 pars and two bogeys. “It was an easy-looking 68. She took advantage of her length by recording a birdie on all the par 5s and she rolled the ball really well on the greens.

“It is so great to see her play with confidence.”

The two-time second-team All-Great Northwest Athletic Conference selection added a 2-over-par 74 the next day to finish at 2-under 142 and a second-place individual finish. The 68 broke the school record of 69 held by six players and her 36-hole total trails only a 141 set in 2005. Billeter had a field-best nine birdies and played the par 5 holes at 4-under.

By redshirting in the spring and taking advantage of the extra season granted because of the COVID pandemic, Billeter will have two years of eligibility remaining and will be able to play for the Vikings while pursuing her master’s degree.

“Megan’s play was huge for us,” Bennett said of the Vikings’ co-captain. “She played so solid both days, it was awesome to see and have her back in the lineup, as a player and leader.”