Tee time: Cal women’s golf spring stretch begins

Photo of Cal women's golf
Karen Chow/Senior Staff

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Cal women’s golf is ready to tee up for a win as it graces the green at the Lamkin Invitational on Feb. 14.

This invitational will be the first time the blue and gold swing in the spring since the last time they played at the Pac-12 preview in November. With ample time to rest and recuperate over a couple of winter months, all eyes are on the Bears as they begin the new season.

Beginning Monday, Cal women’s golf will have a nonstop schedule after the two-day Lamkin Invitational — playing a total of nine times (not including the championship and possible post-season playoffs). The Bears will journey to Rancho Santa Fe to compete in the invitational, facing some of their toughest Pac-12 foes to start off the season. Including some noteworthy teams such as Arizona State, USC, University of Arizona, UCLA and San Diego State, this upcoming faceoff is likely going to be trying for the Bears. With a large number of California’s top golfers on the matchup’s roster, fans sure hope that the wind blows in the blue and gold’s favor.

Soon after facing off Feb. 14, Cal women’s golf will depart The Farms Golf Club outside of San Diego to come back home and play at the Gunrock Invitational in Sacramento from Feb. 28 to March 1. The familiar breeze of Northern California has tended to blow the golf ball in the Bears’ favor in the past, as evidenced by their win at Gunrock in 2020. Last season, the Bears flexed their prowess on the green after registering their lowest score in a whopping six seasons.

During fall 2021, Cal managed to ring the season out at No. 42 in the country. Now, hoping to bump up that ranking, the Bears are listed to play invitational after invitational.

Cal is set to tee off at the Juli Inkster Meadow Club Invitational in early March, followed by the Fresno State Invitational in mid-March. The season comes to a close at the Silverado Showdown in the beginning of April — yet, there remains ample opportunity for postseason playing time if the golfers perform well enough to advance to the Pac-12 championships. It’s worth noting that the NCAA regional competition also begins May 9, should the Bears drive hard enough to participate in that junket.

During the fall season, the Bears boasted many personal victories yet fell short when it came to team placements. With their highest finish being fourth place at the Molly Collegiate Invitational in September, the blue and gold plan to perform better than their past season, aiming to show up and show out on the green as the spring begins.

Players to watch include senior Katherine Zhu and sophomore Mika Jin. Zhu placed 26th at the Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational while also placing sixth at the Pac-12 Preview. Jin also showed her prowess, placing fourth at the Molly College Invitational — the highest of any Cal women’s golf player during the entire fall season.

As the spring stretch of Cal women’s golf season begins, fans can only hope that these times teeing up count down to numerous victories for the Bears.

Maria Khan is a deputy sports editor. Contact her at [email protected].