It didn’t take long in the 2015-16 season for Cal freshman Marianne Li to earn her first top-10 finish in collegiate golf. In Li’s first career tournament at the Ptarmigan Country Club in Windsor, Colorado on Sept. 14 and 15, Li placed 7th and finished the two-day, three-round, 54-hole tournament at +3 overall.
Li started the tournament like a seasoned veteran, recording two birdies in each of her first two rounds. After shooting a 72, she followed with a 71 — tied for the Bears’ lowest scoring round of the tournament. Li would finish in the top five individual rankings after the first day.
Following her encouraging start, Li shot a 76 in the third round, which Cal head coach Nancy McDaniel said was a “solid finish,” despite Li showing signs of fatigue with a bogey-double bogey-bogey finish.
“Marianne was a bright spot for our team. She was fantastic and she brought a calmness to the golf course,” McDaniel said.
While Li shot one of Cal’s under-par rounds, Marthe Wold carded a 71 in the third and final round. The sophomore was able to bounce back from a 76-74 start to the tournament to tie for 11th overall, and missed out on a top ten finish by just a single stroke. Wold’s bogey-free back nine in the third round combined with her birdie on the penultimate hole helped her jump from ranking last amongst Cal golfers to second.
Finishing five shots behind Wold was senior Carly Childs, who showed signs of promise when she started off the second round with two birdies. She added two more on the 11th and 14th holes, but signs of struggles were apparent with her bogeys on the 13th, 15th and 18th holes. Childs faltered to a double-bogey on the 17th, leading to her shooting a 73 on the round. Childs shot a 78 in the third round, which gave her a 31st place finish, tied with senior Hannah Suh (75-75-76).
After the first day, Cal was sixth overall with a team score of 587 and added a 301 during the final round. The Bears ultimately placed third at the tournament, 12 strokes behind first place BYU and eight strokes behind San Jose State. Rounding out the top five behind Cal were University of San Francisco, Boise State and Long Beach State.
“We were disappointed about how we finished. With our caliber players, we were wanting a bit more. The spark to get going just wasn’t there,” McDaniel said. “We were hoping to get closer to par.”
Cal is hoping to manage both expectations and the golf course better as it spends the week playing inter-squad qualifying matches to see who will compete at the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational in Sammamish, Washington.
“We found our weaknesses. We had too many three-putts and we have to eliminate those,” McDaniel said. “We need to work on things around the green and on the green.”
Chris Zheng covers women’s golf. Contact him at [email protected]