Bears Record Best Round In 14 Years
KAILUA-KONA, HI – The Cal women's golf team recorded its best round in 14 years and junior Cristina Ochoa tied a program record with an individual round of 6-under par during the first day of the Pac-12 Preview on Monday at Nanea Golf Club.
The Bears shot 9-under as a team Monday, their best score since setting a program record of 15-under par on Sept. 8, 2008 at the Ptarmigan Fall Classic at Colorado State.
"We've really been working on being patient, so that you're ready to go when everything starts rolling in the right direction," Cal head coach Nancy McDaniel said. "We've talked a lot about being more factual and less emotional with our shots, so we can readjust and make things happen when we need to."
Ochoa carded a 67 on the par-73, 6,449-yard course on the Big Island in Hawai'I to tie for third place in the 60-player field. She had a bogey-free round and birdied each of her last two holes.
Ochoa's score matches the 6-under par set previously by Joanne Lee (2010), Alice Jeong (2014) and Cindy Oh (2018).
"Cristina has a really good mental game. When her swing and mental game come together, this is what we get to see," McDaniel said.
Sophomore Jieming Yang also registered a career-best round with a 3-under par and is tied for ninth. Sophomore Kaylyn Noh, a transfer from Cal Poly who was the Big West Player of the Year last season as a freshman, made her Cal debut Monday and shot 1-under par to tie for 17th heading into Tuesday's second round. Noh birdied two of her last three holes.
No. 22 Arizona State leads the tournament at 17-under par. Cal is three strokes behind No. 13 Arizona for third place and four shots in back of No. 1 Stanford for second.
"We're going to really let this envelop us. We know we can do it," McDaniel said. "We're going to try to keep doing what we do process-wise, not score-wise. The process is what we are working at out here on each shot."
The Bears tee off for Tuesday's second round at 10:30 a.m. PT.