Women’s golf carries momentum into championship play

Courtesy of UCR Athletics
Courtesy of UCR Athletics

The Big West Women’s Golf Championships were not very competitive this time around as defending champion UC Davis finished first yet again thanks to a final score of 858 and seven strokes under par — Hawaii was next best at five strokes over par, followed by the Highlanders.

Needless to say it was another dominant performance from the Aggies, but coming off of a first-place finish in UCR’s own Battle At The Rock Tournament, the UC Riverside women’s golf team entered the championships looking to capitalize on some momentum of their own.

The Highlanders ended day one of the tournament in fourth place and 11 over par and the team gradually made its way up the leaderboard, reaching third place after day two and maintaining that position throughout, despite some resistance on day three from Long Beach State.

The blue and gold were led by senior Savannah Vilaubi and freshman Hannah Facchini. Vilaubi kept the team afloat by staying under par for the first two rounds before finishing in sixth place at three over par, draining a total of eight birdies in the process. Meanwhile, Facchini made a big move up the leaderboards as she climbed nine spots throughout the tournament to finish at ninth overall and seven over par. Haley Wian was the Highlanders’ only other top-20 finish with a final score of 13 over par as she jumped two spots to place 17th out of a field of 40.

In the end, after firing a final-round score of 306 and an overall three-day total of 906, the UC Riverside women’s golf team finished at 24 over par, tied with Long Beach State for third place out of eight teams in the tournament. The finish marked the highest for the blue and gold since the 2006 season in which UCR ranked third out of a field of five.

The third place finish is a solid ending to a season in which the team finished in the top-three in five of its nine tournaments — three of which were first-place victories — and placed no lower than fifth in all but two of them. With the NCAA Regional Tournament approaching in early May, the team has another opportunity to progress and capitalize on its great play as of late.

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