Although an improvement from last year’s 11th-place finish at the 2018 Bruin Wave Invitational, the Cal women’s golf team’s spring debut failed to bridge its success at the Pac-12 Preview in November, finishing the tournament in 10th place.
After two days of play at the Bruin Wave Invitational, the Cal women’s golf team sat at 10th place out of 15 teams on the leaderboard. At the San Luis Obispo Country Club, the Bears overcame a challenging first round in Monday’s opener, teeing off alongside No. 23 Washington and No. 15 Northwestern.
The Bears rallied in Tuesday’s final round by shooting 18-over 306, moving three spots up the leaderboard from 13th to 10th. Cal women’s golf concluded the tournament with a final score of 928, which was 64-over across the three rounds. Eight of the nine teams that finished ahead of Cal women’s golf are ranked in the nation’s top 45 — with this tough competition, the Bears found themselves in the middle of the pack for this event.
Senior Cindy Oh’s hot streak continued in this tournament, as she led the Bears by finishing in a tie for 23rd. She climbed 13 spots on the leaderboard by posting her best score of the tournament in Tuesday’s final round, as she notched a 2-over 74. Overall, Oh shot three birdies on the tournament’s final day to finish 13-over with a score of 229. Once again, the 71st-ranked player in the nation proved her invaluable importance to Cal and its success as the rest of the team struggled.
Freshman Katherine Zhu matched Oh’s tournament placing by finishing in a tie for 23rd. Zhu’s strong freshman season seems to be continuing, as she shot 5-over 77 on the final day to finish with a 229. Her spring debut parallels her solid fall season, as she also notched an individual top-25 finish in the Stanford Intercollegiate tournament.
Senior Marianne Li’s struggles from the fall season seemed to continue in the Bruin Wave International. Li recorded a birdie on the par-3 16th hole to finish Tuesday’s final round at 3-over with a score of 75. Yet throughout the tournament, Li shot better in every round to finish 15-over 231 for the tournament and consequently moved up eight spots to finish in a tie for the 36th position.
Junior Maria Herraez Galven and Sophomore Sofia Lundell did not have nearly as strong or successful outings as the other Bears. Over the three rounds, Galvez finished overall in a tie for 64th place with a 24-over 240 score. Lundell finished a bit behind Galvez in a tie for 72nd as she shot 29-over 245.
In a year expected to be full of growth, the spring-season debut of the Cal women’s golf team has not been entirely promising, although the freshman Bears have continued to be great for Cal so far.
The Bears will return to action next week when they head to Sacramento for the Gunrock Classic, which will be hosted by UC Davis and held at the Del Paso Country Club. The tournament will begin Monday morning.
Leo Kim covers women’s golf. Contact him at [email protected].