After rusty performances at the spring season’s opening tournament last weekend, Cal women’s golf hopes to bounce back Monday and Tuesday. The Bears will head to the Del Paso Country Club in Sacramento as they enter the inaugural Gunrock Classic, hosted by UC Davis, as the top-ranked team.
Although they are going into the Gunrock Classic tournament as 44th in Golfstat’s rankings, the Cal women’s golf team is the top-ranked team in the field of play. The Bears’ fellow opponents who will be teeing off include the University of British Columbia, Cal Poly, Coastal Carolina, Grand Canyon, the University of Nevada, Northern Colorado, Sacramento State, South Dakota, UC Riverside and UC Davis.
At 8 a.m. Monday, the Bears will take to the green and play 36 holes. Playing at 8:30 a.m. the next day, Cal will conclude Tuesday’s action with 18 holes on the course — the very course that hosted the 2015 Senior Open.
Especially after a disappointing, low-tier 10th-place finish at the Bruin Wave Invitational, the Bears are looking to perform better during the Gunrock Classic. Facing off against eight of the nation’s top 45 teams, the Bears found themselves struggling during the past tournament. Stuck in 14th after a grueling first round, Cal rallied and played competitively over the final two rounds to move up four places into 10th place.
The team’s overall underwhelming play was contrasted by the stellar performances of senior Cindy Oh and freshman Katherine Zhu, who both tied for 23rd place in the first tournament of Oh’s last season and Zhu’s first season. Each player shot 13-over 229; Zhu’s tournament rounds included a notable second round that led her to record an even-par score. Comparatively, Oh displayed her veteran spirit and determination by playing better each round and ultimately finishing with a 2-over 74 across 18 holes.
Hoping to prove its worth as the top-ranked team in the Gunrock Classic, the Cal women’s golf team should shake off its spring-season jitters before returning to the grind at San Jose to face off at the Juli Inkster at Meadow Club Invitational, which takes place March 18-19 in Fairfax, California.
Leo Kim covers women’s golf. Contact him at [email protected].