Throughout the season, Cal women’s golf player Marthe Wold, a freshman, teed off alongside junior Hannah Suh and sophomore Lucia Gutierrez, two golfers who would set the world on fire with their clutch performances to serve as the team’s standout players. In the process, Wold established herself as one of the team’s more reliable players, but her teammates’ customarily solid finishes often shifted the attention away from her. Wold, however, shouldn’t be overlooked, because she recorded an impressive debut season that may be an indicator of even better things to come for her next year.
The freshman’s inaugural season should not come as a surprise, because she possesses a pedigree of experience. Prior to teeing off for Cal, Wold competed as a member of the Norwegian Girls National Team from 2012-13 and represented Norway in four European Team Championships during 2009 and from 2011-13. As an individual, the Norwegian has a list of accolades, including a first-place finish at the Norwegian Junior Championship in 2012 and a Titleist Tour Order of Merit in 2012, to name a few.
When Wold began her collegiate career with the Bears, she proved her worth by breaking into the lineup to compete at Cal’s first tournament of the season, the CSU Ptarmigan Classic held in Fort Collins, Colorado.
From then on, Wold was heavily featured in head coach Nancy McDaniel’s plans for the team, as the freshman appeared at every tournament of the season — with the exception of the Pac-12 Preview in Kona, Hawaii.
The Norwegian’s hard work eventually culminated at the Pac-12 Championships and NCAA Regionals. At the Pac-12 Championships, Wold carded the team’s best individual performance with a 71-72-70=213 (E) to finish ninth. In the process, she became the first Cal freshman to earn a top-10 finish at the event since 2008. At regionals, the freshman once again displayed a solid performance at her first NCAA tournament against talented opposition, such as USC, Stanford, Arkansas and Virginia. She scored a 77-78-73=228 (+15) to finish 34th.
Wold finished the season competing in 29 rounds of play, with a scoring average of 75. The fact that she is a freshman who managed to break into the lineup — on a team with many more experienced players — shows that she has the skill to once again play a big role, if not an even bigger role, next season.
Cal will see two of its players graduate and leave the program this summer, which means an opportunity will open for Wold to continue being included in the team’s lineup. She has the potential to follow a similar path to the one Gutierrez took. She had an impressive 2013-14 debut season but stepped it up even more and went on to become one of the team’s best players this season. In order to remain in the lineup and excel, however, the Norwegian will have to remain consistent and make improvements to her game.
The Bears landed themselves a bright recruit when they managed to secure Wold’s signature to join the team. In Wold, Cal may have found itself some gold to embark on a successful season in fall and possibly another NCAA Championships berth.
Manny Flores covers women’s golf. Contact him at [email protected].