March 22, 2005
CARMEL, Calif. -- For the first time in the 10-year history of the Santa Clara University Colby Invitational, heavy rains have shortened the tournament. UC Riverside was named the team champion of this year's women's golf event, after the Highlanders held a nine-stroke lead after Monday's first round.
Three groups were able to tee off on time this morning, but were pulled off the course by 8:15 a.m. Hours later, the 14-team field returned to action and played for 90 minutes before inclement weather overwhelmed the course and made it unplayable. The National Weather Service issued a flood warning through the evening, as rainfall rates are as heavy as ½ inch per hour and wind gusts are surpassing 20 miles per hour.
Santa Clara hosted the event at Rancho Canada Golf Club in Carmel. The squads played the East Course on Monday, a par-71, 5,812 yard layout. The final round was scheduled to be played today on the West Course, which plays 5,947 yards, a par 72.
UC Riverside carded a team total of 302, 18 strokes over par, and topped second-place finisher Northern Colorado by nine strokes. Host Santa Clara finished in third, with a 314, marking the second time in the last three years the Broncos have placed third at their home event. West Coast Conference opponent Gonzaga (317) edged local rival Eastern Washington by one stroke for fourth place.
The Highlanders' Courtney O'Neill was named individual tournament champion after carding a one-over 34-38--72 on Monday. Three players tied for second: Sarah Kuykendall of Sacramento State (35-39--74), British Columbia's Jana Haggins (36-38--74) and Le-Anh Nguyen of UC Riverside (35-39--74). Santa Clara freshman Stephanie Cope led all Broncos with her top-five finish, as she was one of three players to place fifth with a 75.
Santa Clara returns to action April 9-10 with participation at the Peg Barnard Invitational, hosted by Stanford University in Palo Alto.