Cal women’s golf heads to Tucson for Pac-12 Championship

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The Pac-12 women’s golf championship is arguably one of the most challenging conference tournaments in the country. Arizona will host the tournament at the Sewailo Golf Club in Tucson, Arizona (par 72, 6,458 yards). With six of the teams ranked top 25 in the country, the Bears are facing a big challenge this week — but not an insurmountable one.

During their last tournament in Napa, California, the Bears put many of their missing pieces together and finished tied for fourth behind only Colorado, UCLA and Stanford, all of which are top-50 teams in the country. Not only did the Bears have a strong finish in this tournament, but they also had the chance to compete against four other Pac-12 teams.

The key for a top-place finish in this tournament is for the Bears to build on their last outing. In the Silverado Showdown two weeks ago, the team relied on senior Lucia Gutierrez, sophomore Marianne Li and sophomore Amina Wolf, while junior Marthe Wold and freshman Maria Herraez struggled. Herraez had her worst outing of the spring and her only finish outside of the top 15. In order for the Bears to compete, Herraez will need to quickly bounce back and continue her impressive play that has characterized her spring season.

Wold, on the other hand, has struggled throughout her junior season. She has yet to finish in the top 20 this spring after recording five top-20 performances last year, but she was happy with her performance at the Silverado Showdown.

“It hasn’t been the best season, but the highlight is probably my progression,” Wold said. “I’ve been playing progressively better, and in the last tournament my final round was a 69, which was great because it’s been a long time since I’ve been in the 60s.”

If Wold continues to progress and rediscovers her past form, it will add the extra element that the team has lacked all season. On top of this, her veteran presence as a player who is competing in her third Pac-12 tournament could help guide the two freshman in their first postseason appearances.

One major change for Cal is its lineup. The team has competed with the same lineup all spring, but it is replacing Wolf with freshman Jiyoon Jang, who placed in the top 50 of all three fall tournaments. This switch in the lineup comes at an interesting time, as Jang hasn’t competed since October and has no postseason experience, but her strong play in the fall could be of value to the team during its tournament run.

Graham Griffin covers women’s golf. Contact her at [email protected]