SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Looking to build off podium finishes in each of the final three fall tournaments, Santa Clara women's golf opens its spring season Monday competing in the Battle at the Rock, hosted by UC Riverside on the 6,046-yard, par-72 Oak Quarry Golf Club in Riverside, Calif.
No strangers to playing in a crowded field, the Broncos will compete against 14 other teams over two days. Santa Clara won the title at the 18-team Pat Lesser Harbottle Invitational in October, keeping alive a streak of at least one tournament victory in each of the last six seasons.
"This will be a good warmup for our spring season," head coach Krystal Kelly said. "We need to get that competitive feel back since we haven't played a tournament since October. It's been challenging to get quality practice in with all the rain we've been having."
The Broncos ended the fall season with a program record 54-hole score of 1-under 863 to take runner-up honors at the 10-team UC Irvine Invitational. Several players established personal-bests in that event with junior Marni Murez matching a program record 18-hole score with a second-round 67.
Those four competed in every event in the fall and will anchor the squad in the spring opener. Joining them will be junior Chloe Wong, who competed in two fall events and is the only team member to play at this layout.
It's a challenging field with 10 teams ranked among the top 162 in the Golfstat.com poll. The Broncos are the highest rated team at No. 95. No. 1 ranked USC will have a pair of individuals competing and Cal Baptist is not eligible. Santa Clara will also get a look at fellow WCC member Gonzaga, which enters ranked No. 155.
"The course is visually stimulating so it's important they are focused on the process. As always we have a game plan on specific holes that should help them play the percentage shot," Kelly said of her squad.
Teams and individuals will play 36 holes on Monday with a shotgun start at 7:30 a.m. PT. Live scoring is available Golfstat.com.
Name: Battle at the Rock
Dates (Site): Monday-Tuesday, Feb. 11-12 (Riverside, Calif.)
Host: UC Riverside
Tournament Field (Rank): Boise State (112), Cal Poly (129), Cal State Bakersfield (238), Cal State Northridge (194), Cal Baptist (NE), Gonzaga (155), Grand Canyon (133), Hawai'i (159), Montana (173), Montana State (208), Nevada (100), Santa Clara (95), UC Riverside (142), USC (individuals), Utah Valley (127), Wyoming (162)
Details: The 54-hole event will be contested over two days in a five-count-four team scoring format. Teams and individuals will play 36 holes on Monday with a single 18-hole final round on Tuesday. Play begins with a 7:30 a.m. PT shotgun start on both days.
Course: Oak Quarry Golf Club
Yardage/Par: 6,046 yards/Par 72