Zhu Opens Season With Strong Performance
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Junior Katherine Zhu fired a 1-under par 71 on Monday and is in a tie for sixth place after the first round of the season-opening Sun Devil Winter Classic at Talking Stick Golf Course in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Zhu eagled the par-5 fifth hole and registered a birdie on No. 17 to go under par. She is two strokes off the lead.
Sophomore Jasmine Lew shot 1-over 73 and freshman Cristina Ochoa carded a 75 as the Bears are tied for sixth place in the 10-team field at 10-over par.
"We just have to remember that this was our first round and take it from there," Cal head coach Nancy McDaniel said. "Nobody is satisfied, first round or not. They are good players and expect a lot from themselves."
Zhu's second shot on No. 5 from 220 yards out rolled to within 18 feet of the cup, and she converted the putt for the Eagle. She had bogeys on No. 6 and No. 11 to complete her sixth under-par round in her past 10, dating back to last season.
Zhu ended last season strongly, winning the Gunrock Invitational in Sacramento before tying for third with Lew at the Juli Inkster Invitational. She also had a strong summer, qualifying for the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship and winning an amateur title in Seaside.
"Katherine managed her game well today," McDaniel said. "She still feels like there's more to come with the way she is striking the ball. She capitalized on a couple of close shots and made putts."
Lew shot 1-under over the back-nine and is in a tie for 17th place individually.
"Jasmine is our quiet assassin," McDaniel said. "It's starting to come together for her. She has some of the best feel in her swing that I've seen in a player where she can actually control it and knows how to adjust to the feel. She had a good, solid round today."
The Bears begin Round 2 at 7:57 a.m. PT on Tuesday.