STANFORD, Calif. – California had the third-best round of the day to move up the leaderboard and finish fourth overall at the Peg Barnard Invitational held at the Stanford Golf Course.
The Bears shot at 295 Sunday to finish the 36-hole tournament with a 300-295=595 (+27), led by freshman Lucia Gutierrez’s sixth-place finish at an even 142 (69-73). Senior Nicola Rössler rocketed up the individual leaderboard Sunday with her even 71 to take a top 20 finish at 78-71=149 (+7), good enough for 17th overall.
“It’s just getting the cobwebs off coming from the winter time,” California head coach Nancy McDaniel said of the team’s opening weekend. “We have to get a couple of rounds under the belt. We came out a little flat and they knew it. They got after it a little more today.”
Gutierrez hit par on her first 10 holes of the day before finishing two-over at 73. As a team, four of the five Golden Bears had improved rounds Sunday.
“Lucia played solid the whole way through,” McDaniel said. “A sixth place finish is really good for us. I was pleased with coming back today and playing a little bit better. It’s not where we want to be, but it’s a step in the right direction after yesterday. Yesterday was a wake-up call. They got going and we were happy about that. I’m happy that we have a tournament in a couple of weeks and we’ll maintain that flow of competition and be ready to play when it really counts.”
The most improved Golden Bear Sunday was Rössler who had a seven-stroke improvement from her opening round to lead Cal’s ascension Sunday. Rössler hit four birdies on the day and led the team from a mental and scoring standpoint. Sophomore Hannah Suh placed 28th overall with a 76-75=151 (+9), while Morgan Thompson and Carly Childs both scored 12-over 154’s to tie for 42nd individually.
“That was important,” McDaniel said of Rössler’s second round. “It was really important for her. We all know that she’s the leader and has prepared to be. She just let her head get in the way of things yesterday. For her to shake it off that quickly and come back with that even par round, I think she feels really encouraged after this tournament.”
The Bears next compete at the Bruin Wave Invitational hosted by UCLA from March 3-4.