Sept. 16, 2009
By, Brian Elser
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara women's golf team enters its 2009-10 season with plenty of veteran leadership. Wednesday, September 16 marked the first day of official fall practice. The team is preparing to compete in two fall tournaments, beginning Monday and Tuesday, October 5 through 6 at the Cal Poly SLO Firestone Grill Intercollegiate in Nipomo.
"Our players are ready to build on the momentum that was created last year," said Santa Clara Head Coach Polly Schulze, who led the Broncos to a pair of tournament titles a year ago. "Having three seniors, in team captain Erin Sullivan, Jamie Nonaka and Kimberly Bedolla, should really give us some great leadership both on and off the course."
The Broncos will compete in two tournaments this fall and will play in at least four during the spring season before the West Coast Conference Championships next April.
Fall Schedule/Important Dates:
September 16: Team practice begins
October 5-6: @ Cal Poly SLO Firestone Grill Intercollegiate (Nipomo, Calif.)
November 2-4: @ Turtle Bay Intercollegiate (Kahuku, Oahu)
Hawaiian, Ueoka, has HUGE sophomore season
Miki Ueoka is coming off the best season in Santa Clara's program history. The Lihue, Hawaii, native became the first SCU women's golfer to qualify for the NCAA Regionals. She earned three individual titles in 2008-09, while helping the Broncos capture two team titles. Ueoka earned her second West Coast Conference (WCC) honor, receiving First Team All-WCC accolades after tying for second at the 2009 WCC Championships.
Ueoka, the Bronco's projected No. 1 in 2009-10, earned her first collegiate title at the Boise State Bronco Invitational this past October and later claimed her second title at the Fresno State Golf Classic in February. She posted the lowest round ever by an SCU women's golfer at the Fresno Classic with a record-setting round of 68. Her third title of the year came at the Sacramento State Invitational in March. It was her second straight win and Ueoka was twice named the WCC's "Player of the Month" - February and March.
Ueoka went on to qualify for the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship in May. She rattled off a sizzling five-under par 67 on the final day to lead the way at the sectional qualifier at the Wailua Golf Course. Ueoka shot an even-par 72 on the first day of qualifying and earned medalist honors by two shots. She finished in the Top 64 in stroke play competition to advance to the championship bracket of the 33rd U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship. She was then named to the National Golf Coaches Association's (NGCA) All-West Region Team. It's the first time a Bronco women's golfer has made the list.
Bedolla has championship summer
Senior Kimberly Bedolla is coming off her biggest summer ever - winning the Santa Clara County Women's Golf Championship at San Jose Country Club this past August. Bedolla carded scores of one-under 69 and five-over 75. The fourth generation Santa Clara student and transfer from Cañada College was able to seal her first club championship victory by a whopping 11 strokes; at her home course no less. She looks to keep that momentum going this fall to have her biggest season yet.
Surtees poised for sophomore success
Sophomore Tammy Surtees is coming off an impressive freshman season, earning All-WCC Honorable Mention honors, after finishing third on the team in overall scoring average. Surtees tied for 13th at the WCC Championships and enjoyed three Top 20 finishes in her first collegiate season.
"I have a really good feeling that Tamara will come into her own as a collegiate player this year," said Schulze. "I think we will see some even lower scores from her this year after the experience gained by competing in 100 percent of our events last season."
Krystal Shearer is the new assistant women's golf coach at Santa Clara. Currently, an assistant professional at Silver Creek Valley Country Club in San Jose, Shearer is working on obtaining her PGA membership in December. "Krystal brings invaluable collegiate and professional experience that will undoubtedly benefit the team in a huge way," said Schulze. "While at UCLA, Krystal's team went from being unranked her freshman year to winning the NCAA National Championship her senior year. She has been through it all and knows what it takes to win at the highest level."
Nationally renowned `mental game' coach Rick Sessinghaus will also be working with the Broncos this season. "Rick is thrilled to be coming on board at Santa Clara and helping us take the program to an elite national level," says Schulze. "I hope that the team will take advantage of Rick's experience and knowledge not only as a PGA Golf Professional but someone who holds a Doctorate in Applied Sports Psychology."
The last piece of the puzzle for the Broncos will be the changes to their workouts with the addition of new SCU Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Joe Siara. "Joe brings proven results after working alongside both the men's and women's hoop programs," said Schulze. Siara has worked with the women's golf team at University of Florida where he completed his Master's degree in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology in May of 2008.
New transfer looks to shake things up
Junior transfer Lauren Oh promises to be an outstanding addition to the Broncos' lineup this fall. The Pleasanton, Calif. Native has spent the last two years playing for the University of Loyola-Chicago. "Lauren brings with her two steady years of consistent scoring and experience which will benefit the team," said Schulze. "She holds the low score in Loyola's program history with a 70 which she shot last spring." Oh placed in the Top 10 in six different tournaments last season.
Re-writing the record books
The Broncos won two tournaments last season, which is the most since the 2003-04 season. As a team the Broncos finished in the Top 10 in seven of the eight tournaments they played in. SCU enjoyed the lowest team scoring average (vs. par) in a season in program history at 314.05. They also broke the scoring mark of 300 two-times last season when it had only been done twice before in the program's history. SCU also posted the lowest team round ever at the Boise State Invitational with a blistering 294.