Cal women’s golf finishes in eighth at PING/ASU Invitational

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Middle of the pack — it’s a phrase the Cal women’s golf team is getting used to.

Over the weekend, the Bears (291-292-298, +17) finished in eighth place at the PING/ASU Invitational in Tempe, Ariz., going 17 over par, 28 strokes behind first-place No. 10 South Carolina (288-280-285, -11).

The Bears finished exactly in the middle of a 15-team field that included seven Pac-12 competitors. This finish marks the third time in five tournaments this spring the Bears have finished out of the top five — the other two were fourth-place finishes.

This is likely due in part to how fierce the Bears’ competition has been in the last few months. The PING/ASU Invitational this weekend alone featured six teams in the top 10, according to Golfweek, including four Pac-12 teams that rest in the top eight.

Despite the middle-ground finish, however, the Bears managed to crack one player into the top five individually. Hannah Suh (71-69-72) finished tied for fifth with a total score of 212, just four strokes behind first-place Celine Boutier of No. 3 Duke. Suh’s four-under-par score was enough to earn the sophomore her best collegiate 54-hole score, besting her previous record of 216 and marked the first time the sophomore has finished a collegiate tournament under par.

Suh’s success began early in the tournament when she managed to finish under par in both rounds Friday and Saturday, scoring eight birdies to combat five bogeys in her first 36 holes of play and headed into Sunday tied for third place at four under. Suh had a chance to finish even lower in the standings on Sunday after scoring two superb birdies on the third and 17th, but followed up both holes with subsequent bogeys that left her even for the round.

Senior Nicola Rossler (75-74-70) managed to finish off the tournament strong with a two-under-par round Sunday, improving greatly from her first two rounds of play, when she struggled, going five over par. Rossler carded four birdies Sunday to finish with a score of 219, three over par and was one of only 10 other competitors to score under par in the last round.

Christine Menchaca covers women’s golf. Contact her at [email protected]