After almost two weeks of rest, the Cal women’s golf team is heading to San Diego still looking for that elusive first tournament win of the spring season. Hungry for a win, the team will compete in the three-day Farms Invitational tournament starting March 20.
As this is the last tournament of March and second-to-last tournament before the postseason, the Bears will look to improve their putting and consistency in order to finish out the season strong. The two-week break leading up to this tournament provided the team with some much-needed time to regroup and practice.
“We’re gearing up for April, which is (just) one more tournament before the postseason,” said head coach Nancy McDaniel. “So having some fun with the game, getting back to some things we need to do like relearn putting techniques … we can get it done, and I think we’re confident March is a good time to do it and that we’ll be back (as a team).”
The SDSU Farms Invitational will be a match-play tournament — the Bears’ first of the spring season, which could provide the team with the change of pace that it has been looking for. The match-play format could provide an advantage for the team, as it has struggled with consistency from round to round throughout the spring season. Since match play relies on scores from hole to hole, the team’s inconsistent rounds could end up being a nonfactor.
The course is a Par 72 (6,947 yards) and could absolutely provide some challenges for the team. But the Bears are no strangers to challenges as, in their last two tournaments, they had to compete through chilly and rainy weather on damp and muddy courses. With the nice weather in Southern California as of late, the elements should be less of a factor for the players.
The Bears earned second place in the tournament last year with three of the same players — senior Lucia Gutierrez, sophomore Marianne Li and sophomore Amina Wolf — competing. Although they have experience playing this course, the trio has also competed in virtually all of the same tournaments as last year and has yet to bring the strong veteran presence that the team is desperately searching for.
A tournament win next week could do a lot for a team that has been seemingly unable to perform up to expectations all season long. Walking away with positive results will be a determining factor in deciding whether or not the Bears have the ability and confidence to compete with the best women’s golf teams in the country.
Graham Griffin covers women’s golf. Contact her at