Feb. 17, 2009
The 2008-09 California Golden Bears women's golf team heads south of the border to play in their second tournament of the spring season, the 2009 Wildcat Invitational, hosted by the University of Arizona. The 18-team tournament will be played at the Peninsula Golf Club in Puerto Penasco, Sonora Mexico with the practice round taking place Saturday, Feb. 21, followed by three days of 18-hole play, Feb. 22-24. Live stats will not be available for the tournament, though they will be posted on CalBears.com soon after the conclusion of play each day.
The Bears will be facing many of the same teams they played against last week at the Northrup Grumman Challenge. Arizona State, last week's champion, along with fellow Pac-10 schools Stanford, USC, and UCLA along with the non-Pac-10 schools of Denver, and Pepperdine are all opponents who played against Cal in last week's tourney. Joining the field are Arizona, Duke, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Oklahoma State, Tennessee, Tennessee-Chatanooga, Tulsa, Tulane, and Washington. The Bears, who finished seventh at the spring season opening tournament in Rancho Palos Verdes, are ranked No. 19 in this week's Golf Week rankings. They are averaging 298.5 shots per round after their first five tournaments of the 2008-09 season. Last week, battling the cold, wet, and blustery conditions in Southern California, the team finished with a 317-312-315.
Sophomore Pia Halbig and senior Shannon Yocum led the team shooting a 22-over for the tournament, tying for 28th place among the individuals at Palos Verdes. Halbig is ranked at No. 54 this week for individuals in the Golf Stat rankings. Yocum is No. 76. Senior Allison Goodman, who had the low round for the Bears last week shooting a three-over for her final 18, is ranked at No. 80.
Last year, the Arizona Wildcat Invitational was played at the Arizona National Golf Course in Tucson. The Bears finished 11th out of the field of 16 teams. They started strong, shooting a 297 on the opening day, but followed with a 321. They dropped down to a 306 for the third round to finish with a 72-over, 924. Pia Halbig was the top finisher for the Bears with a 73-77-75, 12-over. She finished 20th among the individual golfers.
The Bears last traveled to Mexico for tournament play in 2006 when they hosted the Cal Guadalajara Invitational at the Guadalajara Country Club. The Bears placed sixth out of 11 teams in their own tournament. Allison Goodman tied for 17th place when she shot a 6-over in the tournament.
The Wildcat Invitational is being held at the Peninsula Golf Club on a par 72, 6,146 course featuring six oceanside holes, a lake on the course, and 100 bunkers throughout the course. Designed by Jack Nicklaus and Jack Nicklaus II, the course is a uniquely challenging course in that is completely surrounded by water. Almost every hole has a marvelous wind-swept view of the Sea of Cortes or the natural estuary.
Puerto Penasco, known to English-speaking visitors as Rocky Point, is located in the northwestern part of the state of Sonora, Mexico. Located on the shore of the Gulf of California (also known as the Sea of Cortés), it is approximately 700 miles from Berkeley.