Playing through adverse conditions took on a new meaning for Cal women’s golf when early morning hail Tuesday caused a delay of game, forcing teams to play into the night. Play was then called off again due to darkness.
After an impressive, nine-stroke victory at the Ptarmigan Classic to tee off the season, No. 23 Cal (301-299-306 – 906, +42) continued to impress despite weather conditions, placing fifth at the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational at the Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Wash. Pac-12 rival No. 11 Stanford (285-283-295 – 863, -1) was unflustered, crushing the competition and winning by a margin of 27 strokes over second-place No. 1 Washington (301-289-300 – 890, +26).
Like many other teams, including Oregon (297-301-300 – 903, +39) and UCF (301-299-306 – 898, +34), the Bears had to deal with several obstacles throughout the day. But Cal pushed through the weather, as well as the darkness, to finish strong on both days.
“We’ve dealt with bad weather before,” said coach Nancy McDaniel. “We really pride ourselves on being able to tough things out.”
Carly Childs (76-75-72 – 223, +7) led Cal to the fifth-place finish while tying for seventh place individually with five other players. She birdied the par-5 sixth hole but finished the first round four over par, with three bogeys alone on the back nine. Her second round did not go much better, with four bogeys and only one birdie before she had to stop playing 14 holes into the second round.
Childs proceeded to bounce back in the third round, drilling back-to-back birdies on the par-5 and par-4 second and third holes. Her back nine was not nearly as impressive as her front nine, as she bogeyed three holes with only one birdie to finish the round at par. Although her performance was not up to her usual standards, it was good enough for a seventh-place finish.
“She’s really confident in her game,” McDaniel said. “Shes driving the ball well and straight. You really needed accuracy on this particular course, and she made a few putts that kept her in the game.”
The tournament was very close, as evidenced by Nicola Roessler (74-79-73 – 226, +10) coming in at 22nd overall despite scoring only three strokes higher than Childs. She played a mediocre first round, coming in at two over par at 74, and had an abysmal second round. Although she started off strong, with a birdie on the par-4 first hole, she had a difficult time adjusting to the darkness, bogeying six holes and double-bogeying the par-4 eighth hole after her initial birdie.
Roessler did not start off the second day of play much better, as she double-bogeyed her first hole of the third round, along with two bogeys later on. But she recovered well, nailing three birdies over the course of the day to finish the round only one over par.
In her first collegiate tournament, Lucia Gutierrez failed to impress in the first round, with three consecutive bogeys on the back nine and six bogeys overall. But she would later settle down to shoot one of the lowest scores through 17 holes of the second round with five birdies.
Rounding out the bottom for Cal were Hannah Suh and JoEe Kok, who finished at 38th and 49th place, respectively. Suh had three double-bogeys over the two-day tournament, two coming in the back nine of the second day, giving her a 10-over-par third round. Kok could not reproduce her success at the Ptarmigan Classic as she suffered one of the worst rounds of her career, with 10 bogeys in the third round, including a double-bogey on the par-4 10th hole.
“The game was a step in the right direction,” McDaniel said. “There were some good teams out there, and now we know that we can play with them.”
Winston Cho covers golf. Contact him at [email protected]