SANTA CLARA, Calif. – With three top-three finishes, including a team title, the Santa Clara women's golf team celebrated a successful fall, four-tournament season. The Broncos earned the title at the Pat Lesser Harbottle Invitational (Oct. 15-16), keeping alive a six-season streak of at least one tournament win.
After finishing seventh at the season-opening Nittany Lion Invitational (Sept. 22-23), the team tied for third at the Wyoming Cowgirl Desert Intercollegiate (Sept. 29-30).
"It wasn't that we played badly in the beginning", head coach Krystal Kelly commented. "It was just a matter of putting things together, being a little bit more patient, working on our course management, but they were really committed to the process and put in the time and I think the results show that".
Santa Clara capped the fall with its two best performances. Sophomores Emily Sumner and Sarah Busey led the win at the Pat Lesser Invitational. Sumner tied for sixth with a 4-over 220, that included a final-round 69. Busey followed by only one shot, placing ninth.
The Broncos finished second at the UC Irvine Invitational (Oct. 29-30), where they shot a program-best 54-hole score of 1-under 863. Junior Marni Murez led the team and saw a collegiate-best 54-hole score of 221 (73-67-71) at UC Irvine.
The UC Irvine Invitational brought the team to a 95th national ranking. Overall, the Broncos shot an individual 74.56 average.
Throughout the fall, Sumner, Busey and Murez led the team scoring average.
All three women fought for collegiate bests, this season. Sumner's success at the Pat Lesser Invitational was preceded by a fifth-place finish from Busey at the Wyoming Cowgirl Invitational.
"They're putting the time in and they're believing in what we're doing on a day-to-day basis", Kelly said of the three players. "I'm just extremely proud of them. I think where they are ranking wise right now, if they continue to shoot the scores that they're shooting, they should be in contention for making regionals."
The team will play five spring events, starting with the Battle at the Rock (Feb. 11-12).