SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Under the direction of first-year head coach Krystal Kelly, the Santa Clara University women's golf team has jumped 20 spots in the national rankings, improving to No. 100 nationally according to GolfStat.com.
After three-straight weekends of tournament play, the Broncos have time off to focus on academics and prepare for their final three events – bookended by the 2011 West Coast Conference Championships, April 18-19, at San Juan Oaks Golf Club in Hollister.
"I think the team worked really hard on balancing golf and school," said Kelly about the success SCU has enjoyed over the past month, which included out-playing 11 teams at the Fresno State Lexus Classic last weekend. "Their scores are improving from our fall campaign and I can't wait to see what we shoot in our final two tournaments (prior to the WCC's)."
The Broncos are currently in the midst of finals week (March 14-18), which is followed by the University's Spring Break. The next official tournament for SCU will be April 4-5 at the University of Wyoming's Cowgirl Classic in Chandler, Arizona.
Senior All-WCC honoree Miki Ueoka (Lihue, Hawaii/Kauai High School) has six top 10 finishes in seven events this season. Ueoka leads the team in scoring average (75.3) and is playing some of her best golf of the year, posting two sub-70 scores in her last four rounds.
"Our team is pretty small this year, we only have six girls," said Ueoka, who is a close friend and roommate of fellow Hawaiian and All-WCC player Tamara Surtees (Waikoloa, Hawaii/Hawaii Preparatory Academy). "We have two seniors, two juniors and two freshmen. The two freshmen are best friends and inseparable. That worked out really great for us. Any time you get new additions to a team, you have to welcome them in. They are really cool and it worked out well. The four girls that came back, we are already really close; so the team chemistry is really strong, we enjoy being together everyday. It's been really fun."
Taylor Camany and Brooke Stephens are the freshmen players who have added to the accomplished lineup of Ueoka, Surtees and senior Lauren Oh. Camany fired a final-round 72 last Sunday in Fresno. It was her third top 20 finish of the 2010-11 season.
Kelly says the team's primary focus during the final month of competition will be on course management and the short game. She recognizes the progress that has been made, but insists each individual can continue to improve. Right now, the Broncos are positioned to challenge for one of the league's top two spots at the WCC Championships.
WCC National Rankings (Mar. 14)
Santa Clara (100)
San Francisco (105)
For SCU's updated team and individual statistics click here.