SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The fall season ended with Santa Clara women's golf claiming three consecutive team titles. They return to action to open the spring portion of their schedule at an event they won last year. The Broncos will tee off Monday at the 15-team Battle at the Rock hosted by UC Riverside on the 6,079-yard, par-72 Oak Quarry Golf Club.
Not only did the team enjoy success in the fall, several players had their own accomplishments. Senior Annie Freman captured her program record sixth individual title, winning the Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate last October. Junior Kristin Le took individual medalist honors for the second time in her career by sprinting away from the field at the Lady Mustang Invitational for a 6-shot win.
Freman led the team with a 73.36 stroke average in the fall and was followed closely by Le, who tallied a 74.07 average. The two combined for nine of the team's 10 sub-par rounds.
But Santa Clara received considerable contributions from Juniors Kyleigh Moreno and Isabella Salant. Moreno played in all five fall events and had a four-shot improvement on her average from the 2015-16 season. Salant was the only other player to score a below-par round, firing a tournament-low 2-under 70 at the Colby Invitational, where she took home a fifth-place finish.
"This team is very special and if everything continues we will make a run at the postseason," head coach Krystal Kelly said. "But for now, we're just focusing on our process and preparation...one shot at a time!"
There have been challenges weather-wise preparing for the spring season, but Kelly is ready to see what her squad can do. "We are really looking forward to getting back out on the course," she said. "We've been challenged by Mother nature so far this season, so it will be nice to play in 70 degree sunshine."
Freshman Chloe Wong will round out the Broncos team as they attempt to defend their title at the Battle at the Rock.
"I've been impressed by what I've seen so far this season," Kelly said of her squad. "The team is very committed and their work ethic has gone to a new level. It would be great to come out of the gate strong this week, but ultimately this will be a good warm up for the rest of the season."
With large amounts of rainfall this winter, the course could be less than ideal for low scores. "The golf courses are pretty saturated in the Bay Area, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Oak Quarry is in good condition."
Le won her first individual title at this event last season, topping the field by eight shots, and four Santa Clara players finished among the top seven to lead the Broncos to an eight-stroke win over host UC Riverside.
Teams will compete over 36 holes on Monday with a final round of 18 holes played on Tuesday. Both days will begin with a shotgun start at 7:30 p.m. Live scoring is available on golfstat.com.
Name: Battle at the Rock
Dates (Site): Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 13-14 (Riverside, Calif.)
Host: UC Riverside
Tournament Field (15 teams): Cal Poly, Cal State Bakersfield, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Northridge, Grand Canyon, Hawaii, Long Beach State, Montana, Northern Arizona, Portland State, Santa Clara, Seattle, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, Wyoming
Details: The 54-hole event will be contested over two days. Monday will play 36 holes with a final round 18 holes on Tuesday. Both days will begin with a shotgun start at 7:30 a.m. PT.
Course: Oak Quarry Golf Club
Yardage/Par: 6,079 yards/par 72
Live Scoring: Golfstat.com
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