The Cal women’s golf team entered the Mason Rudolph Fall Preview this past weekend looking to play consistently as a team, get a feel for the course and continue its dominance in the short game. The team accomplished two of its goals, but one of them still needs work.
“We came out playing flat,” coach Nancy McDaniel said. “When we are playing against the top teams in the nation, we need to be able to play three rounds of golf.”
The Bears finished 10th out of 18 at the tournament in Franklin, Tenn. Cal competed against much-heralded competitors such as Alabama, Virginia and Vanderbilt, but the team title was eventually won by UCLA. The tournament was held at the Vanderbilt Legends Club North Course, the site of this year’s NCAA Championships.
“I think we showed that we can stack up against the top teams, as long as we all play together,” McDaniel said.
There were many great individual performances, but the team could not find any consistency or continuity in its play. Senior Emily Childs finished the third round with a one-under 71, but did not experience the same success in the previous rounds. Joanne Lee, on the other hand, finished the second round at par, but shot a combined 12-over in the other rounds.
Even with their inconsistency, McDaniel found hope in her players while their brilliance lasted.
“Emily and Joanne gave us a lot of confidence that we could really compete,” McDaniel said.
As a team, the Bears finished with a score of 893, which put them at +29 for the tournament. The player with the lowest score, senior Daniela Holmqvist, finished tied for 16th.
As a team, Cal improved 16 strokes from its first round total to its second, from a 306 to a 290.
All in all, the team felt satisfied coming out of the tournament since it was able to do part of what it set out to, which was to gain familiarity with the course, where it hopes to compete in the spring.
“We felt that getting a feel for the course was really important, and it’s good that we have played here now, and we know what to expect for next time,” McDaniel said.