SANTA CLARA, Calif. – It's a season of change for head coach Krystal Kelly and her Santa Clara women's golf team as the youthful Broncos embark on the 2018 fall season without a senior on the roster. Their first challenge takes place this weekend at the Nittany Lion Invitational in State College, Pa., where 16 teams are scheduled to play 54 holes over two days.
Junior Chloe Wong is the only returning player to compete in all 10 events last season. She earned five top-20 finishes and compiled a 77.03 scoring average. Sophomores Emily Sumner and Sarah Busey gained valuable experience playing in a majority of team events during the 2017-18 campaign and will be important members of the team this season.
"We are a young team this year," Kelly noted. "But I'm really excited to get out there and develop these players."
Newcomer Claire Choi qualified for the U.S. Amateur Championship with an impressive performance over the summer and will be a key component for the squad. Duong Tran and Naomi Wong also enter their first season on the Broncos team.
Junior Marni Murez is the top returning scoring leader from last season after posting a 75.21 average and two top-10 finishes in five events last year. The Boston College transfer was named to the preseason All-WCC team along with Sumner.
Rounding out the five-player team that will compete in the first of four fall events are Busey, Choi and Chloe Wong.
The Broncos are one of eight schools out of the 16 competing that did not participate in this event last season. The two-day, three-round tournament will take place on the 6,321-yard, par-72 Penn State Blue Course.
"Penn State is longer than what we normally play, so course strategy will be very important," Kelly said of her game plan.
Teams will play 36 holes of golf on Saturday with a shotgun start at 6 a.m. PT. Live scoring is available at Golfstat.com.
The Broncos are scheduled to compete in nine tournaments overall this season leading up to the WCC Championship, which takes place in April.
Name: Nittany Lion Invitational
Dates (Site): Saturday and Sunday, Sep. 22-23 (State College, PA)
Host: Penn State University
Tournament Field (16 teams): Akron, Bucknell, Georgetown, High Point, Ohio, Penn State, Penn, Rollins, Rutgers, Santa Clara, Seton Hall, Navy, Washington, Xavier, Yale, Youngstown State.
Details: Teams and individuals will play 36 holes on Saturday with a single 18- hole round on Sunday. Both days open with a shotgun start at 9 a.m. ET (6 a.m. PT)
Course: Penn State Blue Course
Yardage/Par: 6,321 yards/Par 72