The offseason is the perfect time for athletes to refine their craft in preparation for the upcoming year. Players have the opportunity to work out the kinks in their games. The allure of the spring season is months away, but after what is now a third successful preseason tournament, the Bears are beginning to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Cal ended its fall season with another excellent performance, tying for fifth place with Colorado in the Pac-12 Preview at the Nanea Golf Course. The Bears shot 30 over 876 with scores of 302, 310 and 294 in the first, second and third rounds, respectively. Their total score of 906 was just enough to edge out No. 1 UCLA, which ended the tournament with a score of 907.
The first two rounds of play weren’t kind to the Bears as the team stumbled out the gates, finishing the first round in sixth place with a score of 302, then finishing the second round in seventh with a score of 310. But a strong third round with a score of 294 propelled the team into its tie for fifth place.
The Bears upped their game on the par fives, shooting 10 under par with an average of 4.83 strokes, trailing only Stanford, which shot 12 under par. Sophomores Amina Wolf and Marianne Li led the way for Cal in the par five, as Wolf shot five under par and Li shot four under par. Cal also finished with a total of 164 pars — third behind Arizona State and Arizona, which had 177 and 170, respectively.
Wolf built off her eighth-place finish at the Stanford Intercollegiate, leading the way for Cal in the individual player rankings by shooting five over par and once again finishing in the top 20. She had an exceptional finish to the invitational, shooting one under par in the final round to propel her eight spots to a four-way tie for 17th place. The sophomore also led the team in both pars and birdies during the tournament.
Freshman Jiyoon Jang had another solid outing to begin her career at Cal, tying for 21st place with Robyn Choi from Colorado with a score of seven over par. Jang also tied Wolf for the most birdies recorded by a Cal player.
Li and senior Lucia Gutierrez tied for 28th place, while junior Marthe Wold tied for 32nd place. Li also recorded an eagle on the 18th hole in the second round, one of only three in the tournament.
Both teams from the Grand Canyon State were at the top of the leaderboards, with No. 20 Arizona State shooting two over par and No. 30 Arizona shooting five over par. Stanford ended the tournament in third place as the team shot 13 over par.
The Bears will have quite a ways to go until their next tournament action, as the team isn’t scheduled to play again until the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge in Palos Verdes, California, beginning Feb. 12. With a little more than 100 days to go until the Bears’ next scheduled tournament, Cal will have ample time to improve upon a solid fall preseason.
Justice delos Santos covers women’s golf. Contact him at [email protected]