SAN JOSE, Calif. – The Santa Clara women's golf team overcame a nine-shot deficit in the final round to claim the team title by one-stroke and freshman Annie Freman defeated teammate sophomore Sadie Strain on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff to win individual honors at the Colby Invitational today at the Silver Creek Valley Country Club.
The Broncos entered today's final round nine-shots off the lead but carded a tournament-best round of 303 (615 total) behind Freman's 1-over-par 73 and a 4-over 76 from Ashley Noda. Santa Clara edged first round leader Boise State, who totaled a 313 today (616), by one shot. Cal State Northridge shot a final round 316 and placed third with a 621 team total.
"It feels awesome. Especially to win our own event," said head coach Krystal Kelly about the comeback win. "The hole locations were really challenging today and I'm really proud of them. That was a solid score out here. They kept plugging away and as a coach I couldn't be more proud."
After shooting a first round 312 that saw the team closer to last place than first, Kelly addressed the team. "We sat down yesterday and looked at what we did well and what we need to work on. We didn't change our game plan on any holes we just tried to pull the positives and, I think a lot of times, when teams don't play well they get down on themselves and that's something were trying to be better at is not beating ourselves up."
Freman jumped into contention with the day's lowest score and tied Strain, who had the best score of the tournament with yesterday's 2-under 70. Strain carded a final round 6-over 78 and the two tied for the top spot at 4-over 148, one shot better than Cal State Northridge's Cesilie Hagen.
"It was just keeping my head in the game, being patient, letting the putts drop when they would and not getting frustrated when I hit a bad shot. It was pretty much all mental today," said Freman.
Playing in just her second tournament of the season and first since the season opening event, Strain carded a career-low round yesterday and had her first top-5 finish as a collegian. "I was just hitting the ball really well. Probably the best I have in a few years," she said. "And the course was in great condition so it was just easy to score and I had a lot of motivation."
Both players scored par on the first playoff hole, but Strain's second shot approach on the second playoff hole hit the cart path and careened out-of-bounds. Freman had a nice out from the bunker on her third shot and two-putted to secure her first career tournament win. "It feels neat. It's a really cool experience," she said.
As the teammates teed off on the first playoff hole, Coach Kelly watched nervously. "I don't think it's as nerve-wracking as playing against another school," she stated. "I'm just so proud of both of them, they've been working really hard and to have either one win is just a special thing for us today."
Junior Kaci McCartan earned her second top-5 finish of the season placing in a tie for fourth place after a 77 today for a 151 total (+7). She won the Boise State Bronco Fall Invitational on Sept. 24 when the team claimed its first tournament title.
Junior Casey Briggs, who has been sidelined with a wrist injury, played in her first tournament of the season and finished 15th. She matched her second-lowest round with a 77 yesterday and shot a final round 81 for a 158 total. Senior Taylor Camany had a 6-shot improvement from her first round and finished in a tie for 18th place, two shots behind Briggs.
The Broncos' impressive fall season now includes two team titles in five tournaments, a pair of individual champions and nine top-10 finishes. "It tells me that we're doing a lot of things right," said Kelly.
The Broncos wrap up their fall schedule at the Lady Mustang Invitational next Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 28-29, hosted by Cal Poly at the Cypress Ridge Golf Course in Arroyo Grande, Calif.
Colby Invitational Final Team Standings
1. Santa Clara 312-303 = 615 (+39)
2. Boise State 303-313 = 616 (+40)
3. Cal State Northridge 305-316 = 621 (+45)
4. Grand Canyon 313-316 = 629 (+53)
5. Seattle University 318-312 = 630 (+54)
6. Northern Colorado 313-332 = 645 (+69)
Santa Clara 1st Round Individual Results
1. Annie Freman 75-73 = 148 (+4)
2. Sadie Strain* 70-78 = 148 (+4)
T4. Kaci McCartan 74-77 = 151 (+7)
15. Casey Briggs* 77-81 = 158 (+14)
16. Ashley Noda 83-76 = 159 (+15)
18. Taylor Camany 83-77 = 160 (+16)
23. Meghan Shain 80-81 = 161 (+17)
T28. Monique Riley* 83-81 = 164 (+20)
36. Brooke Stephens* 91-88 = 179 (+35)
*Played as an individual