Cal women’s golf fails to advance at Regional, sends individual to NCAA Championship

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The Cal women’s golf team’s spring 2018 season came to an end Wednesday at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. The Bears finished 12th overall out of 18 teams at the NCAA Regional Championships and failed to meet the advancing top-six mark to qualify for the NCAA national tournament.

While the team did not qualify for the national tournament, senior Marthe Wold finished tied for third overall and qualified as an individual to compete in the national tournament next week in Oklahoma.

The Bears got off to a rough start on Monday, with four of the five players finishing well outside the top 25, landing the Bears at tied for 13th (297) overall.

While sophomore Jiyoon Jang returned to the lineup after sitting out at the Pac-12 tournament because of injury, she struggled immensely in the first round, finishing the day at +5 with seven birdies. This performance comes as a surprise to anyone who has been following the Bears this season, as Jang has been the most consistent top performer all season.

While Jang has been arguably the Bears’ strongest player all season, her battles with injuries have not allowed her to play as consistently as the team would have liked, and they may have factored into her performance this week in San Francisco.

While the rest of the team struggled, Wold was in her own world. Wold began her impressive climb up the individual leaderboard on Monday with five birdies, finishing the day at one under par and tied for 10th overall.

The second round, which began Tuesday, saw improvement from the Bears as they shot 292, dropping five strokes from the day before, but this wasn’t enough to move them up the leaderboards as they finished round two, again, 13th overall.

Once again, while the rest of the team struggled, Wold remained locked in, improving her score by one stroke from Monday, landing her at tied for fourth overall after two rounds. Wold wasn’t the only one who climbed up the leaderboards Tuesday; junior Cindy Oh shot par and finished the day tied for 29th overall, a jump of 13 spots from Monday’s round, in which she finished tied for 42nd overall.

Jang was far more consistent from her second round on as well, but one double bogey on the 14th hole and bogeys on the first and last holes caused her to finish +4 on the day, dropping to tied for 76th on the individual leaderboards.

Wednesday posed a great challenge to the Bears, who needed to move seven spots in one round to qualify for the national championship. Although the team had its best round of the tournament (292), it simply wasn’t enough to push it far up the leaderboard. Junior Marianne Li took big strides in the last round, shooting two under par and finishing with the second-best score for the Bears at +3, landing her at tied for 33rd overall. Oh continued her strong play from Tuesday and finished +5, landing her at tied for 40th at the end of the tournament.

Just as the team had its best round on the last day, so did Wold. The senior dominated the front nine notching four bogeys, finishing her final round at -3.

It’s a bittersweet finish for Wold, who will now travel without the rest of her team to Oklahoma, but who gets to compete in one last tournament as a Golden Bear.

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