By Kenneth Cline
The Baylor women’s golf team finished in seventh place at the Northrup Grumman Regional Challenge in Palos Verdes, Calif. As a team, they shot a 32-over-par 884, including 15-over-par 299 performance in the final round.
The Lady Bears finished the first round of the tournament in the lead with a score of 286. Baylor head coach Jay Goble said what started as a good week quickly turned upside down.
“If you would’ve told me we would’ve finished in the top half of the field before the week started, I would’ve said that’s really good,” Goble said. “But when I saw how we were playing against the top teams in the country, and how we finished today, I’m disappointed in the fact that we didn’t finish a little stronger than we did.”
Despite the seventh place finish, there were a few bright spots for the Lady Bears this weekend. They finished ahead of eight teams who were ranked in the top 35. Yet five of the teams who finished ahead of the Lady Bears were ranked in the top seven, including the top-ranked Southern California Trojans, who won the championship. Baylor finished just 18 strokes behind. For Goble, it was a bittersweet tournament.
“I know at one point we were only two shots out of second place with very few holes left to go,” Goble said. “It’s bittersweet because we beat a lot of teams that were ranked ahead of us, but we also had a chance to beat a lot of teams that were ranked ahead of us and we came up short.”
Junior Hayley Davis led the Lady Bears by finishing in second place for all the individuals. She shot 1-over-par 214 to finish even strokes behind the tournament champion Annie Park of Southern California. By finishing second, Davis now has three top-3 individual finishes in her collegiate career. Even while the team had struggles, the tournament, plus playing against higher ranked teams, has been a great experience for Davis.
“I’m very about it,” said Davis. “It gives us a lot of confidence. Just makes it good that our hard work pays off.”
Coach Goble could not have been more proud of Davis’ effort at the tournament.
“I’m really proud of the way Hayley has come back this semester,” Goble said. “She has worked extremely hard on her game. It’s great for her to finish in second place in this kind of field that’s like a national championship. It doesn’t get much better than that. She played great and the person that beat her this week was the college golf Player of the Year last season, Annie Park.”
Sophomores Laura Lonardi and Natalia Perez both finished tied for 63rd in the standings finishing with a 18-over-par 231 tournament. Freshman Louise Gateau-Chovelon finished Tuesday’s round with a 6-over-par 77, which added to her overall score of 11-over-par 224, tying her for 33rd place in the tournament.
Unfortunately for Freshman Hadas Libman, she was disqualified for the final round as a result of signing an incorrect scorecard.
The Lady Bears will continue their season on Feb. 23 at the Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate in New Orleans.