After clinching third place at the Causeway Invitational last week, there is little time for Cal women’s golf to rest. Currently ranked 40th in the entire nation, the Bears now set their sights on the upcoming Juli Inkster at Meadow Club Invitational hosted by San Jose State University and the University of San Francisco.
The event will be played across two days, March 6 and 7. It will take place approximately 20 miles away from Bear territory in Fairfax at the 6,157-yard, par-72 Meadow Club course. All participating teams will be scheduled to play the first two rounds Monday and the third and final round Tuesday.
The tournament will feature many teams from the nation’s top 25 such as Stanford, USC and Pepperdine. Last year’s tournament ended with San Jose State narrowly beating No. 1 Stanford by one single shot, while the Bears came in fifth.
Cal’s lineup for this upcoming tournament will include experienced veterans who played in last year’s Meadow Club Invitational, juniors Mika Jin and Cristina Ochoa. Ochoa was the top Cal finisher in last year’s tournament, coming in at 12th place. Both Bears finished in the top 20, as Jin earned a 19th-place finish.
This year’s lineup will also include seniors Tzu-Yi Chang and Jasmine Lew, as well as freshman Adora Liu. Chang was part of Cal’s A lineup for the Causeway Invitational, while Lew and Liu were in the B lineup.
The Meadow Club Invitational will be the first time that Liu and Lew are included in the starting lineup this spring. Liu’s impressive second-place finish at 1-under 71 last week behind UC Davis’ Abby Leighton undoubtedly helped Cal to finish in third place.
Despite being in the team lineup for the Meadow Club Invitational last year, senior Kristine Tran will not be included in the five-person team for this year’s tournament. However, Tran, along with graduate Annika Borrelli and sophomore Kaylyn Noh, will be participating individually.
Unfortunately for the Bears, the highly talented list of participating schools will not be the only thing they will face next week. The current weather forecast in Fairfax suggests that there will be scattered showers for the majority of the day Monday.
Tuesday fares slightly better, as the forecast suggests partly cloudy weather for the day and expected rain well after the competition has been played. Despite the forecast, Northern California weather has been highly erratic recently, and is thus bound to some changes.
The rainy-weather forecast is not only expected to affect the teams’ preparation and performance, but also the tournament itself. Last week’s Causeway Invitational was delayed and ultimately shortened due to lightning strikes, resulting in only the first round being officially counted.
Given last week’s rain-filled tournament, though, Cal’s golfers now definitely know what to expect of this stormy weather. Playing golf in the rain is not an ideal scenario, but it is always better to have some experience adapting to unexpected circumstances. Though spring in Northern California does not usually bring in much rain, this year is an exception — and one affecting its fair share of gameplay.
For many, spring will always symbolize new beginnings. For the Bears, spring means business, and the beginning of a long climb to the top of the rankings. This tournament will be a chance for the Bears to do just that.