California Lutheran University’s women’s golf team swung into success for the second year in a row placing first at the Regals 2015 Invitational hosted at their home course Sunset Hills Country Club on March 16-17. The Regals put up a total two-day score of 636 (+60).
The Regals played the first 18 holes of the 72-par course with a team score of 310 (+22). The Violet and Gold finished 12 strokes ahead of the other 12 schools competing in the 36-hole tournament, which included three teams nationally ranked in the Top 25.
“Three-hundred-and-ten is two strokes off from our school record. We just felt that we had been working really hard and it showed. Sunset’s a hard course so we are excited that our hard work showed in our play,” senior Hannah Purdy said.
Purdy was essential to the team’s success throughout the two-day tournament when she and junior Danika Cochiolo finished the first round on March 16 with scores of 76 (+4) for the tie of first place for individual play with University of Mary Hardin-Baylor’s Elizabeth Davis.
Cochiolo said placement was key throughout Sunset Hills Country Club’s narrow fairways and she was proud she was able to have near perfect placement of her shots.
“I was pretty accurate with everything I did,” Cochiolo said. “Putting the ball in play at Sunset is huge, so if you can do that you can pretty much be successful there.”
Junior McKay Weiler and senior Jenna Gimbel chipped in to establish the 12-stroke lead by both posting scores of 79 on March 16 to tie for sixth place with Serina Castillo from Simpson University.
“My strengths were pretty much a combo of my long game and short game,” Weiler said. “Avoiding three putts was really helpful to my game and being able to hit my greens in regulation was key.”
Cal Lutheran returned to the course on March 17 and owned the throne once again having a team score of 326.
Weiler shot the lowest score for Cal Lutheran on day two when she improved her game by one stroke posting a score of 78.
Freshman Courtney Martin had an eight-stroke improvement from her score of 88 on March 16. Martin’s score of 80 was the biggest improvement for the Violet and Gold during the tournament.
Purdy, who scored an 81 on March 17 said she found herself on the bogey train nine holes in the middle of her round. However she was able to gain back her focus and come back to finish strong for her remaining nine holes.
Cochiolo and Gimbel posted an 87 and 89 on the second day, tallying up the team score for the two-day tournament to 630.
The Regals wrapped up the tournament on top with Whitman College finishing in second place with a team score of 650. Mary Hardin-Baylor posted a team score of 653 earning the Crusaders the third spot in the tournament.
“It felt pretty good to be back playing on our home turf playing against really good competition,” Purdy said. “Our tournament doubled in size from last year, so this win was pretty satisfying in terms of beating three Top 25 teams when we weren’t even in the Top 25.”
The Regals 2015 Invitational was the first win for Cal Lutheran this spring. The team is looking to continue the remainder of the season with success at the Washington Invitational at the Gateway Golf Course in Madison, Illinois on March 28-29.
Published March 25th, 2015