Cal ends season with 12th-place finish at NCAA Regionals

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A progressive improvement from Cal women’s golf in Auburn over the weekend proved fruitless, as it ended its season with a 12th-place finish at the NCAA Regionals for a second straight year.

The Bears shot an eight-over 296 as a team Wednesday, which was a four-shot improvement from an underwhelming Tuesday performance. The slight jump was not nearly enough to allow Cal to qualify for the NCAA Championships, as it needed to seed sixth or higher to reach that stage.

Freshman Elena Arias and senior Cindy Oh combined for 13 birdies, while each player climbed the leaderboards substantially on the final day, shooting par 72 and one-over 73, respectively, over the course of the tournament.

“I was pleased with how we finished the last few holes; they did not give up,” said head coach Nancy McDaniel. “They just kept at it, and that’s all you can ask for. I’m proud of our players for juggling all they have to do in the classroom with finals coming up while also earning their way to the NCAA Regionals. There are so many good teams in women’s golf, and it is very tough to qualify every year.”

Katherine Zhu finished second on the Bears’ leaderboard with a two-over 74 on the final day of the tournament, finishing seven shots over par. Her quality performance was just enough to land her the school record for the lowest-scoring average by a freshman at 73.58.

Taking into consideration this team’s lack of experience on the national stage, a finish in the middle of the pack provides a springboard for the Bears to jump off from for next season. The team was able to earn six top-five finishes and 13 top-10 finishes in an impressive finish to a taxing season.

Spencer Golanka covers softball. Contact him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @sgolanka.