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Bears Post Best Team Score In Six Years

Mar 2, 2021
Freshman Mika Jin finished at even-par for the tournament.

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SACRAMENTO - The Cal women's golf team polished off its best tournament performance in six years Tuesday, finishing 7-under par to place fifth at the Gunrock Invitational At Del Paso Country Club.

Junior Katherine Zhu, the medalist at last year's Gunrock Invitational, shot a career-best 6-under par to finish in a tie for eighth place. It was the best individual showing by a Cal women's golfer since Jiyoon Jang went 7-under at the Silverado Showdown in 2018.

"It felt really good," Cal head coach Nancy McDaniel said. "When all five of your players are scoring right around par, you get to a place where now you can take it farther. It was a great step to having a good season. It's a good building block for us to show we can get under par no matter where we are."

The last time the Bears had a better team score was at the BYU Entrada Classic in 2015 when they shot 8-under par.

Along with Zhu, sophomore Jasmine Lew also had a career-best performance at 2-under par, which placed her 14th in the individual standings.

The Bears began the final round at 4-under par and eventually got to 11-under and in a tie for second before finally placing fifth.

"We got it going for awhile," McDaniel said. "I think our confidence is starting to catch up with our play. When there's a little discrepancy between the two, that's a gap we want to close. We are starting to realize we are right there. It's a matter of closing it out."

Zhu had three birdies and no bogies over her first 16 holes Tuesday to move to 8-under and in a tie for second place. But a double-bogey dropped her out of contention. She only had three bogeys for the tournament, but a triple-bogey set her back in the second round.

"She's encouraged but as a golfer you're always looking back to see what can be cleaned up," McDaniel said. "She played so well for 52 holes. She ought to be encouraged."

Freshmen Mika Jin and Cristina Ochoa also had their best tournaments so far, with Jin finishing at even-par and Ochoa going 1-over.

The Bears return to action next week for the Juli Inkster Invitational at Meadow Club in Fairfax.