From April 3-5, Cal participated in the Chevron Silverado Showdown co-hosted by Colorado and Oregon.
The 17-team tournament took place at the par-72, 6146-yard Silverado Golf Course in Napa. For the Bears, the Silverado Showdown is the last tournament before the Pac-12 Championships that are set to take place in two weeks from April 17-18.
After a very disappointing result at the Ping/ASU tournament, Cal was looking to finish strong before heading into the most important tournament of the season.
As things unfolded in Napa, however, the Bears struggled and were unable to produce any significant comeback. Cal finished 10th out of 17 teams despite having the fifth-best final round of the tournament. This marks the second consecutive time that the Bears failed to finish in the top five positions.
Unlike the previous tournament in Phoenix, the Bears did not perform well in the first round, as they finished the day in a tie for 12th place. Once again, junior Cristina Ochoa was Cal’s highest ranked golfer coming in tied at 25th with 11 other golfers at three strokes over par. Not far behind was junior Mika Jin who completed the day at five over par.
Nonetheless, the second round proved to be underwhelming for Ochoa. Despite Cal’s subpar result in the last tournament, no one could have ever predicted Ochoa’s struggles, as she has been one of the best and most consistent Cal golfers.
Ochoa finished the second round with a shocking 11 over par and dropped to 53rd overall.
All of the remaining Bears had a solid second-round performance which enabled the team to finish in 10th place on Tuesday. This time, it was senior Tzu-Yi Chang who completed the day as the highest ranked Cal golfer, having climbed 25 positions with a score of seven strokes over par.
Mika Jin, along with graduate Annika Borrelli and freshman Olivia Lee, also climbed up the standings after making progress in the second round.
In the third and final round on Wednesday, the Bears failed to collectively make any progress and finished the tournament in 10th place behind Ohio State.
With an exceptional final round performance, Annika Borrelli became the highest ranked Cal golfer of the tournament at 24th, tied alongside two other golfers from San Jose State and Colorado for eight strokes over par.
Mika Jin came in four strokes behind Borrelli at 35th place. Cristina Ochoa finished in 43rd alongside Oregon’s Ching-Tzu Chen and Arizona State’s Amanda Linner. Despite her struggles in the second round, Ochoa’s third round proved to be her best in this tournament.
The story was quite the opposite for Tzu-Yi Chang, as despite having a breakthrough in the second round, Chang did not perform well on the final day and finished in 46th overall.
Olivia Lee came in 70th overall after a gradual improvement which saw her post her best round of the tournament on the last day.
To avoid yet another disappointing result at the upcoming Pac-12 Championships, the Bears must work on their consistency.
The promising start to the spring season in which the Bears were able to finish in the top five positions in the first three tournaments is a testament to the Bears having enough individual talent. Yet it is the issue of inconsistent performance in between rounds that prohibited Cal from getting the result that it had hoped to achieve.
Now that Cal has a considerable amount of time to regroup before the big competition, it is up to the players to work on their game and collectively strengthen the team. Failure to do so would inevitably lead to a very disappointing end to what has been a promising season.