Coming off a third-place finish at the Peg Barnard Invitational two weeks ago, the Cal women’s golf team is set to tee it up in San Luis Obispo, California. No. 15 Cal will compete Monday and Tuesday in the Bruin Wave Invitational at the San Luis Obispo Country Club.
The tournament is going to be hosted by the fifth-ranked team in the country and Pac-12 foe UCLA. Three-rounds and 54 holes will be played where the first 36 holes are set to be played Monday and the final 18 Tuesday. The tournament will also welcome 14 other teams including No. 4 Stanford, No. 10 Washington, No. 14 Arizona State and Washington State. This will be the second tournament Cal will compete in the spring portion of its season.
After two weeks of noncompetition, the Bears are feeling good after having a lot of days off to practice.
“(We feel) really rested yet pretty ready to get going again,” said Cal head coach Nancy McDaniel in an email. “We focused mainly on the greens as they are a bit quick and undulated at San Luis Obispo Country Club. We worked on good speed and putting ourselves in good position for par after the first putt.”
At the 2015 Bruin Invitational, Cal ended up placing very low — 12th out of the 15 teams. Yet, the weather may have had something to do with that, as it rained during the second round of play. It rained so badly that part of the second round had to be postponed and finished the next morning. Although the Bears got off to a slow start that Monday, they were able to turn it around significantly the next day. Cal finished the third round with a 299, their best round of the tournament and overall the sixth-best round for a team in the entire competition.
Experience gained from playing in a tournament the year before is always a factor in having the edge toward heading into the same competition again. Four of the players in the starting lineup from a year ago will also be coming back to compete at the same golf club. Seniors Hannah Suh, Carly Childs, junior Lucia Gutierrez and sophomore Marthe Wold all played in this tournament last year. The experience they gained will be valuable for another set of rounds of 54-holes.
The Bears are ready to get back to playing golf as a team and to compete against the top-ranked teams.
“Competition! We love to take all of our practice and put it into tourney play. There is nothing like the 1st tee in a tourney and knowing you have 18 holes ahead to create your own story!” McDaniel said in an email. “Stay in the present, walk confidently and make a good course management plan, one that you can commit to.”
Oscar Oxlaj covers women’s golf. Contact him at [email protected]