Cal women’s golf isn’t just eager for another chance to fine tune their play before conference season starts next week; they’re hungry for redemption.
Women’s golf is co-hosting the Molly Collegiate Invitational Monday and today, where they will face many of the same foes they matched up with just two weeks prior. The two-day, 54-hole tournament will be held at the Waverley Country Club in Portland, Oregon.
The Bears will seek a stronger finish in this tournament, after they stumbled to an eighth place showing at Washington State University Cougar Cup on Sept. 16 and 17. Cal shot a combined seven over par to place in the top ten out of the fifteen-team field.
The team’s play in the tournament, however, was extremely inconsistent and was characterized by a steady decline of their performance over the three-round match. The Bears shot three under par on the first day to bring them into a tie for third, but a lackluster second round and an eight over par final round effectively kept the team from a top finish.
Despite the uninspired conclusion to the tournament and a difficult first day at the Molly Collegiate Invitational, the Bears have a chance to redeem themselves this week against a tough opposing field.
Golfers from all teams were met with tough playing conditions during the first two rounds on Monday, as only two players — and zero teams — shot under par for the day. Stanford has taken a commanding lead in the tournament, with a team score of three over through two rounds. No. 16 Oregon also got off to a strong start, as they currently sit seven back of the lead.
The Bears have especially struggled on the course, posting a team score of 48 over, good for 10th place. Cal struggled right out of the gate with a combined 29 over par in the first round.
Cal has also gotten an important, firsthand look at its rival Stanford Cardinal, whom they will face in the Big Match in just one week. Stanford comes into the invitational as the highest ranking member of the field, as they were selected No. 10 overall in the last Women’s Gold Coaches Association poll, and is one of the few teams who have not struggled at the Waverley Country Club. As of Monday’s results, Stanford sits 46 shots ahead of Cal.
Today, the Bears will once again turn to senior Maria Herraez Galvez to lead the team to a high finish. Galvez placed eighth in the Cougar Cup with a score of -4, the best finish of any Cal player by six strokes. The Madrid native will need to bounce back on day two, though, after shooting 16 over.
Galvez won’t exclusively be relied on for her play, but for her leadership abilities as well. Galvez is the only senior on Cal’s tournament roster, which features just one other upperclassman, junior Sofia Lundell. Freshman Tzu-Yi Chang and Kristine Tran have provided a spark for the Bears, leading the team with scores of seven over and 11 over, respectively.
No matter the result, the younger players will continue to gain more experience and hone their play during these early season tournaments and matches.
After a tough first day in Portland, the Bears will look to rebound when the Invitational restarts at 1 p.m. Players on every team will hope for improved conditions to mount a comeback against the first-place Cardinal.
Noah Parker covers women’s golf. Contact him at