The Pac-12 Championships are right around the corner for the No. 15 Cal women’s golf team. The Bears, however will not be overlooking the tournament they are set to compete in this weekend.
Cal will compete in the Silverado Showdown, a three-day tournament taking place in Napa, California. The teams will play 54 total holes and only 18 per day. Just like the Bears’ last tournament, San Diego State March Mayhem, this event won’t be a traditional stroke play. Instead, players will be put in threesomes with different pairings after the start of every round.
The Showdown will be co-hosted by fellow Pac-12 members No. 21 Colorado and No. 24 Oregon. Fifteen other teams will also compete, including Pac-12 powerhouse No. 9 Stanford. The Ducks will be looking forward to defending the title that they won a year ago, while the Bears will be trying bounce back from a ninth-place finish at the SDSU March Mayhem.
Senior Hannah Suh is definitely motivated to improve, as with every tournament that goes by, she is playing the last few times as a Bear. Suh was also named Pac-12 Golfer of the Month last week, something that has not been accomplished by a Bear since Daniela Holmqvist in March 2012. Suh has been having a solid spring season in the three tournaments that Cal has competed in March, as in every tournament she has managed to place in the top 10. She has been posting an average of 71.4 in the five stroke play rounds that she has taken part in and shot under par in three rounds.
Suh’s greatest accomplishment this season is when she placed first individually at the Bay Area tournament, March 7-8. She helped the team with an oustanding 36-hole performance posting a 71+69=140, -4. Her execution lead the team to its first victory in almost a year, since the BYU Entrada Classic in March 2015.
Another player on the team who knows what it takes to win an individual title is junior Lucia Gutierrez. In the Showdown last season, she was able to finish in first place for the first time in her Cal career. Gutierrez was able to stroke a 4-under 68 on the final day of play. She finished the day by beating Colorado’s Esther Lee by three strokes with a final score of 73-71-68=212 (-4).
If there are any players who could lead the team to victory, it is these two veterans. This is the last regular season competition for the Bears as it is followed by the Pac-12 Championships. Yet the preparation for the Pac-12 Championships doesn’t start after this tournament; instead, it only continues this Sunday. The Bears aren’t a team that overlooks any competition as they know that every event is crucial in getting better if they want a chance at winning the Pac-12 Championships.
Oscar Oxlaj covers women’s golf. Contact him at [email protected]