Playing golf in Hawaii sounds like a relaxing vacation. For the Cal women’s golf team, it didn’t turn out quite that way.
The Bears traveled to Kona, Hawaii to play in the Pac-12 Preview at the Nanea Golf Club. The team (292-298-312, +26) ended the tournament in eighth place out of the twelve teams participating. Cal shot a 902 at the par-73 tournament.
No. 2 USC (284-288-289, -15) won the tournament, with No.1 UCLA (283- 287-292, -14) one shot behind in second place.
Cal came out with a strong start on the first day, as they ended the first of two rounds only 10 strokes behind. The Bears were able to shoot even par as a team in the first round of play and finished the day only 6-over par.
Sophomore Carly Childs had a spectacular first day of play, shooting 2-under-71 in the first round. She started off with three birdies in her first 10 holes of play and was able to finish the round strong, despite hitting a double bogey on the 5th hole. Childs finished the day 1-under par, which put her individually tied for 17th place overall. Senior Nicola Rossler had a good first day of play as well, finishing at even par, 146 and tied for 19th individually.
On the second day of play, the conditions that had made the course difficult in the first two rounds only got worse. The day was windier and the course was made longer to make it more difficult. The team finished the tournament in the same place they finished on the first day — in eighth place.
Childs’ first day of play was not duplicated in her second as she fell from 17th place to tied for 28th to end the tournament. Hitting a double-bogey once again on the 5th hole dropped her from finishing the tournament in the top-20. Rössler, however, continued her solid play and shot one-over par to end the tournament tied for 18th place. It was her third top-20 tournament finish in four tournaments played. The senior has been the only real consistent factor for the Bears this season, especially in tournaments as competitive as these when every player’s top performance is needed.
“We had real solid play by our seniors, and we just didn’t get the solid play we needed from our two, three, four, and five players today,” said head coach Nancy McDaniel. “You really need all five to be really strong on the third day in the Pac-12 preview.”
The loss was expected. This unranked and inexperienced Bears team was not predicted to come in and play better than seven teams ranked in the top 25 in the country.
“The best players in women’s amateur golf are in this conference,” McDaniel said. “It gave us an excitement about starting the spring and we have just as competitive a schedule as anybody in the country. So that’s all set up, and now it’s just a matter of going out and taking that opportunity to perform.”
Alaina Getzenberg covers golf. Contact her at [email protected]