Hailing from Berkeley — located right in the heart of the Bay Area — the Bears have become accustomed to year-round chilliness and cool breezes. Their first two invitationals of the season have been on the road, but the all-too-familiar rainy weather has followed the team, resulting in the cancellation or rescheduling of rounds.
But now, as the Bears head for the gorgeous greens of Hawaii, the team can expect to do away with their ponchos and umbrellas and bask in the sunshine of the Aloha State.
Cal hopes improve upon a superb third-place outing at the Stanford Intercollegiate in its third tournament action of the year as the team flies to Kailua Kona, Hawaii, for a two-day, all-day tournament at the beautiful Nanea Golf Club on Oct. 24 and 25.
The field of competition will feature familiar names from the Pac-12 in Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Washington and Washington State, as well as the out of conference host Hawaii.
UCLA will enter the tournament as the No. 1 seed in the country after a win at the Stanford Intercollegiate. Along with UCLA, No. 3 Stanford, No. 5 Southern California and No. 20 Arizona State all rank in the top 25 of the NCAA Golfstat Relative Rankings. Cal just missed the top 25, as the team is now ranked at No. 26.
For some of the Bears, the upcoming two-day tournament will not be their first time traveling to Kailua Kona, as the team traveled to Hawaii for an invitational last November. Among those playing were sophomores Amina Wolf and Marianne Li, junior Marthe Wold and senior Lucia Gutierrez. As a unit, the Bears ranked sixth, shooting 21 over 897.
Li, a freshman at the time, put together a fantastic performance, shooting 4 under 69 to place fourth in the individual rankings and finish in the top five for the first time in her career.
UCLA, ranked No. 3 at the time of last year’s tournament, finished in first place, followed by then-No. 15 Arizona State in second and then-No. 9 Arizona in third place.
Weather may once again play a factor, as in addition to weather in the high 80s, there is a chance of scattered showers. Luckily, Monday, the first day of the tournament, may be nothing more than clouds.
Justice delos Santos covers women’s golf. Contact him at [email protected]