KONA, Hawaii – California had its best performance after 36 holes this season in the first of two days at the Pac-12 Preview at the par-73 Nanea Golf Club, highlighted by under-par and par rounds by sophomore Carly Childs and senior Nicola Rössler Monday.
The Bears shot even par as a team in the first round and finished the day with a score of 292-298=590 (+6) to sit eighth in the tournament comprised of the top Pac-12 teams along with Hawaii at the final tournament of the fall season. Childs shot a 2-under 71 in the first round and finished the day with a 71-74=145 (-1) to sit 17th individually; Rössler finished the day at an even par 146 (72-74) to sit 19th individually.
“Today was amazing,” California head coach Nancy McDaniel said of playing at the Nanea Golf Club. “The course is out of this world. We’re really lucky to have the opportunity to play there in the tournament format and a tournament of this caliber. This is the perfect place and time in the season to have this tournament and evaluate ourselves. We’ve been through a full fall season, so this is really special and motivating to be able to play against these teams. This year – like a lot of years – the Pac-12 is so strong that you can get bumped around a bit, but keeping in the mix is what’s important. We kept the mix, especially our top three players today who put out a good effort. We can go in the last round with a chance at a top six or top five, which is solid.”
The teams began the day with a shotgun start, and Childs wasted no time jumping ahead with three birdies in her first 10 holes to sit at three-under at the turn. A flawless day was offset by a double-bogey on the par-4 5th, but she followed it up with another birdie on the 6th to end her first round at two-under 71. In the second round, Childs followed the course to specifications by hitting a birdie on the par-3 4th and hooting two bogeys on the 16th and 17th to finish the round with a 1-over 74, ending her day with a 71-74=145 (-1) heading into the final 18 holes.
“I don’t think she was satisfied with Stanford, so she just had a dogged demeanor today that she would get it done no matter what,” McDaniel said of Childs. “She had her fair share of setbacks and just kept moving forward. That kind of play and attitude is what’s going to forge this team on. Now we just have to make it five strong in that area.“
Rössler began the day with a one-under 72 in the first round after matching a team-high with four birdies in the first round on the 2nd, 4th, 10th and 18th holes. Her second round matched that of Childs with one birdie and two bogeys in the first seven holes before finishing out the round with pars on the remaining holes for a 1-over 74.
Freshman Lucia Gutierrez continued her strong fall campaign with a one-over 74 in the opening round, carding a birdie on the par-4 3rd and hitting even par on 15 of the remaining 17 holes in the round. She was even par in the second round with three birdies and three bogeys. Starting on the fourth hole, a bogey on the 7th was met with back-to-back birdies on the 9th and 10th, followed by an 11th-hole bogey and 12th hole birdie before hitting par on eight of the last nine holes. She finished the day carding a 74-73=147 (+1).
“Nico played really steady,” McDaniel said. “She probably would say she left some strokes out there. This is a course you can really score in in the morning rounds when it’s not windy. She would tell you she left strokes out there, but in all it was a solid day. Lucia continues to move herself forward and move her consistency forward. She wasn’t feeling as consistent at Stanford. She had a couple of days in between to get her swing together. She fought back today and played better in the afternoon. It says a lot when golfers do that, it means they pay attention throughout the day. For a first year player to do that, that’s impressive.”
Much like Gutierrez’s opening round, sophomore Hannah Suh hit even par on 14 holes in the first round along with a birdie on the par-4 5th to finish the first 18 holes with a two-over 75. She shot 4-over 75 in the second round with a double-bogey 6th disrupting an otherwise even round to finish the day at 75-77=152 (=6).
Morgan Thompson began the day shooting 77 in the opening round with birdies on the 4th, 6th and 13th offset by a double-bogey on the par-4 2nd. The second round was undone by a double- and a triple-bogey, but Thompson remains in the top 60 of the field at 77-81=158 (+12).
Competition resumes with the final round Tuesday beginning at 9 a.m. PT.
COURSE: Nanea Golf Club (par 73; 6,112 yards) – Kona, Hawaii
CAL LINEUP:T17. Carly Childs – 71-74=145 (-1)
T19. Nicola Rössler – 72-74=146 (E)
T23. Lucia Gutierrez – 74-73=147 (+1)
T40. Hannah Suh – 75-77=152 (+6)
T55. Morgan Thompson – 77—81=158 (+12)
TEAM RESULTS (GolfWeek Ranking as of Oct. 25, 2013)1. (5) Washington – 282-286=568 (-16)
2. (1) UCLA – 283-287=570 (-14)
3. (2) USC – 284-288=572 (-12)
4. (13) Arizona – 287-293=580 (-4)
5. (10) Stanford – 292-289=581 (-3)
6. (6) Arizona State – 288-294=582 (-2)
7. (19) Oregon – 282-303=585 (+1)
8. (27) California – 292-298=590 (+6)
T9. Oregon State – 294-312=606 (+22)
T9. (39) Colorado – 306-300=606 (+22)
11. Washington State – 306-303=609 (+25)
12. Hawaii – 312-302=614 (+30)