Cal women’s golf faces tough test at Stanford Intercollegiate tournament

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In golf, avoiding trees is usually the safe move. But this weekend, the Cal women’s golf team won’t be fearing the trees as it travels across the bay to play three rounds at the Stanford Intercollegiate tournament.

No. 9 Stanford, the defending national champions, will be hosting this event from Oct. 18 to Oct. 20 alongside Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. Secretary of State and current fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. A 17-team field including five top-10 teams, such as No. 1 USC, No. 2 Georgia, No. 3 Northwestern and No. 4 Arizona, will play at the renowned golf course — once home to Tiger Woods. USC will be looking to win its fourth consecutive Intercollegiate. The tournament will also feature additional Pac-12 teams, such as No. 11 Arizona State, No. 12 UCLA, No. 21 Washington and Oregon.

Intensifying and increasing the flair will be top-10 individuals No. 1 Karen Chung (USC), No. 2 Jessica Vasilic (Arizona), No. 4 Stephanie Lau (Northwestern), No. 6 Tiffany Chan (USC) and No. 9 Harang Lee (Georgia). The Stanford Intercollegiate will also include previous winners Bronte Law (UCLA) and Kyung Kim (USC).

“We’re really looking forward to (the opportunity),” Cal head coach Nancy McDaniel said. “It’s that time of the year where we need to step up and this tournament will give us a good benchmark of where we are in the season.”

Following an unsatisfactory third-place and a disappointing second-place finish already this season, the Bears will need to be at their best if they want a more favorable result this time around. Cal will certainly have its work cut out.

A starting team of senior Hannah Suh, junior Lucia Gutierrez, sophomore Marthe Wold, and freshmen Marianne Li and Amina Wolf will be looking to build off early-season individual successes. Overall, each player has put together several good rounds but the team has yet to form a positive aggregate finish. The Bears could potentially use the triumphs so far this season as a way of boosting confidence going into the tournament.

“We’re looking for consistency. We were hoping for three solid rounds (last week) but only got two rounds,” McDaniel said. “We’re still looking for consistency.”

Although Cal finished eighth at the 2014 edition of this tournament, it returns a core team that’s ready to forward its progress. Adding two young and talented golfers like Li and Wolf will be an encouraging help for the Bears. While their inexperience could play a factor in the results at the Stanford Intercollegiate, Cal is hoping the wealth of experience that remains on the team will help bring comfort and serenity while playing against stiff competition.

Chris Zheng covers women’s golf. Contact him at [email protected]