Not phased at all by first-tournament jitters, the Cal Women’s golf team kicked off the season in fine fashion, ranking ninth in the two-day Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational.
At the conclusion of three rounds of play, the Bears finished six over par, shooting two over in the first, one over in the second, and three over in the third for a total score of 870.
Cal’s scores were consistent throughout the three rounds, as the Bears tallied a 290, 289 and 291 in the first three rounds, respectively.
A pair of underclassmen led the way for the Bears in the tournament as freshman Jiyoon Jang and sophomore Amina Wolf both finished in the top 20 as individuals.
In the first action of her collegiate career, Jang led the way for Cal, finishing with a score of 214 (-2), which was good enough to tie with UC Davis’ Yoonhee Kim for 15th place on the leaderboard.
Wolf was not too far behind her teammate, finishing one under par with a score of 215 (-1), tying with Baylor’s Dylan Kim for 17th place.
Cal sophomore Marianne Li, freshman Maria Herraez and redshirt senior Alice Jeong finished at 220 (+4), 221 (+5) and 227 (+11), respectively.
Mother nature had a hand in determining the tournament schedule as the Albuquerque weather postponed the first and second rounds, which were initially planned for Monday.
Because of the conditions Monday, teams played all three rounds Tuesday beginning at 7:30 in the morning.
Despite the weather, the Bears managed to put together a solid all-around performance.
As a team, Cal was one of the best in the tournament when it came to Par 3s, tying for first place with Baylor and San Diego State by shooting one under par. Li led the way for the Bears in Par 3s, shooting one under par. Li’s teammates all shot even in Par 3s.
The Bears were solid outside of the Par 3s as well, ranking seventh in Par 4s by shooting 22 over par and eighth in Par 5s by shooting four under par. Jang led the Bears in Par 4s, shooting one over par, while Wolf led the team in Par 5s, shooting four under par.
The Bears accumulated the most pars out of any school, totaling 198, but did not excel in birdies, converting only 32, which put them 12th on the leaderboards. Li led the team in pars with 45, while Herraez totaled the most birdies with eight.
Oklahoma State won the tournament, shooting 20 under par as a team with a score of 844. Arizona State University was the runner up, coming in nine strokes behind at 11 under par and Baylor was right on its tail, shooting 10 under par with a score of 854.
Colorado’s Esther Lee took home the individual honors, shooting 18 under par for a score of 198. San Diego State’s Sirene Blair finished second with totals of 13 under par and a score of 203.
California has a month of preparation ahead before heading south to play in the three-day Stanford Invitational, which takes place Oct. 14 through Oct. 16.
Justice delos Santos covers women’s golf. Contact him at [email protected]