Cal women’s golf finishes T-11 in 1st action of spring season

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After the long break which separates the fall and spring seasons, the Cal women’s golf team kicked off their spring season at the Bruin Wave Invitational, finishing T-11 out of 16 teams.

The Pac-12 dominated the tournament, with No. 10 USC, No. 1 UCLA and No. 4 Stanford finishing first, second and third, respectively. Of the six Pac-12 teams to participate, Cal was the only school to finish outside the top 10.

The Bears were met with overcast and rainy conditions Monday as they teed off their first round, but the Bears came out strong despite the conditions, finishing with five birdies to only two bogeys.

Cal finished the round in sixth place overall, only one stroke behind UCLA, but this solid play was short-lived as it dropped six spots to finish the second round in 12th overall.

The second round was especially disappointing as sophomore Maria Herraez was forced to drop out of the tournament because of injury.

Herraez’s injury seemed to catalyze a downhill spiral for the Bears, who took a turn for the worst on their second time around the course. The team combined for seven double-bogeys and three triple-bogeys compared to only five birdies.

“We lost a player, and that’s (a) big penalty,” said head coach Nancy McDaniel. “It was a really tough day — it was dark, it was windy, and it was cold. When things aren’t gelling and they’re not perfect, that’s what’s going to get you.”

While the Bears struggled immensely as a team in the second round, co-captains senior Marthe Wold and junior Marianne Li maintained their strong individual play, finishing the round T-16 and T-23 overall, respectively.

The third and final round of the tournament began with a frost delay, forcing the Bears to battle rough conditions once again throughout the day. Despite the weather and being down a player, Cal finished the tournament strong.

Individually, Wold and Li continued their impressive play. Wold finished T-11 overall for her best finish since last year’s NCAA regional tournament, with Li behind her finishing T25 overall.

“Marthe’s performance was really encouraging,” McDaniel said. “Her 11th-place finish was really strong and solid, and Marianne was right behind her. And more than just their play, they were really solid as leaders for the team. They held not only themselves accountable but held others accountable down the stretch.”

These individual performances were not, however, enough to dig the Bears out of the hole they dug themselves into during the second round, only advancing one spot to finish T-11 in their first action of the spring.

Although Cal finished far behind the tournaments leaders, they had two very solid rounds in this opening tournament.

While the two solid rounds are a strong sign for the team, going forward, the team still needs to overcome its Achilles’ heel and etch out three solid rounds of golf.

The Bears will look to regroup and get right back out onto the course next week at the Meadow Club Women’s Collegiate in Fairfax, California.

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