A team is often defined by how it plays against its toughest opponents. The Cal women’s golf team is left searching for answers after playing in its most challenging tournament yet this season at the Stanford Intercollegiate this past weekend.
The Bears (292-289-297 — 878 (+26) participated in the Stanford Intercollegiate Friday through Sunday and placed 10th overall. The tournament took place at the par-71 Stanford Golf Course at 6,130 yards. The team was led in the event by senior Nicola Rossler (214, +1), who placed 16th overall, the only Cal player to place in the top 20.
The Intercollegiate included the country’s No. 2 USC and No. 1 UCLA, placing first and second respectively. Playing against such highly ranked teams for the first time this season proved to be a bit of a challenge for the Bears. The difference between Cal and their ranked opponents became even more evident.
“Playing with UCLA was great because we saw what they were doing and how they’re doing, and we can gauge how far off we are,” said head coach Nancy McDaniel. “But really, in the end, it’s about how we measure ourselves against ourselves.”
The tournament did not start off well for the team, as it ended the first day of play with a team score of 292 (+8). Most of the players had bogeys at various holes through the opening nine holes, including Rossler, who had bogeys on the 13th and the 16th.
The team rebounded on the second day, moving from ninth to eighth place and shooting +5 as a team. Rossler contributed significantly to this change, shooting a 2-under 69. She was able to shoot par at all of nine back holes of the day, tying her career-low round.
Rossler continued her dominance on the third day by hitting par on all but one hole, ending the day at 1-over 72. Sophomore Hannah Suh (218, +5) also played well in the tournament overall and ended in 32nd place. Although she placed well outside the top 20, Suh still had a tournament worth remembering.
“Hannah Suh played really solid,” McDaniel said. “She stood out in that she came back in the second round. She stuck to a plan that she had, the way that she wanted to do things, and I was really proud of her … for the way she played the tournament as a whole.”
The team’s improvement didn’t continue, however, as Cal ended the third day of play in 10th place, going back two places in the ranking from the previous day.
Alaina Getzenberg covers golf. Contact her at [email protected]