In the midst of a heavy winter storm, the Bears made the trip to Sacramento to take on the Causeway Invitational. Facing wet conditions and rain delays throughout the first round, the remainder of the tournament was canceled on Tuesday afternoon.
The tournament win was claimed by Washington finishing just four over-par in the sole round of play. Sophomore Abby Leighton from UC Davis claimed the individual title finishing two under. Cal’s “blue” team placed in third with the “gold” squad coming in sixth. Of the eleven women playing for Cal in the tournament, two finished the sole round under-par. Senior Tzu-Yi Chang and freshman Adora Liu tied for second in the field.
“Tzu-Yi Chang and Adora tied for second in that field, in that weather. It shows what they’re capable of, that shows the team what everyone on our team is capable of. We’re excited to get after it again,” said head coach Nancy McDaniel.
While the rest of the players were scattered across the leaderboard, they were not more than three strokes away from each other in the standings.
Junior Cristina Ochoa finished in a tie for 13th. The longtime staple of the Cal lineup played on the blue squad and shot two over-par; however, she did card three birdies throughout the round.
Senior Jasmine Lew and junior Mika Jin came in a nine-way tie for 22nd, both shooting three over-par. Lew’s round saw a period of an even score, it would start to falter after the eighth hole. Jin’s round started off on the wrong foot, but nevertheless persevered until the end.
Graduate senior Annika Borrelli came in a tie for 31st, shooting four over-par. Borrelli’s round also suffered due to the adverse conditions, slipping just on the second hole of play. She was able to climb out of a six-over score to her eventual finish.
Senior Kristine Tran came in a tie for 36th, shooting five over-par. In her season debut for the Bears, Tran played with the gold squad. Contrary to what her numbers may show, Tran played a good tournament, shooting par on eleven holes and birdies on two.
Sophomore Kaylyn Noh and freshman Olivia Lee finished alongside each other in a tie for 46th. Although both rising players produced high final scores, they did play consistent golf across the tournament.
Rounding out the team finishes were sophomore Jieming Yang and freshman Anna Molloy who finished in a tie for 62nd and 65th, respectively. Yang shot nine over, but was keeping steady pace before slip-ups through the middle holes led to her decline in the leaderboards. Molloy was in the same boat — though finishing at ten over-par, mistakes in the middle holes led to her final standing.
The Bears battled terrible conditions throughout the sole round, but this battle is a testament to the toughness of this team. Bad conditions are always a test of a golfer’s grit and composure.
“It’s a good rep in challenging weather and we’re going to have challenging weather coming up down the stretch whether it’s 42 degrees, blowing wind and rain or it’s 105 degrees and so hot in the desert that the ball won’t stay on the green,” McDaniel said. “That’s a mindset and being able to get into your bubble when you’re on the golf course and not letting those things interfere with what you’re out there to do.”
The Bears will now begin to look ahead to their next event of the season — the Meadow Club Invitational, which will begin next Monday. It will be a short drive to Fairfax, where current weather projections have more showers in store for the blue and gold.
“We’re really hungry, we can’t wait to get back out there and that’s a really good sign about the team. I don’t know if we’re going to get out of this weather in a week, but the following tournament is in Arizona so it’ll just make it seem so much better when we’re down there,” McDaniel said.