The last time the UCLA women’s golf team traveled to Wilmington, N.C., in October, it lost by a measly one stroke.
Traveling to the same course for a different tournament, this year’s team will look to win with the help of a couple of new faces.
The No. 4 Bruins will tee off today at Landfall Tradition golf course for the Landfall Tradition tournament, hosted by the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
Making the trip are senior Glory Yang, juniors Stephanie Kono and Brianna Do, sophomore Tiffany Lua and freshman Ani Gulugian.
The Bruins will compete today to Sunday in the five-count-four scoring format in which a team’s highest score is dropped each day.
Most likely to lead the Bruins is All-American Kono, who is currently the No. 9 golfer in the country. Kono has been UCLA’s top performer this year and leads the team in scoring with a stroke average of 70.67.
Gulugian, the No. 53 golfer in the country, is making just her third collegiate start. Even with only two collegiate tournaments under her belt, Gulugian has been playing like a savvy veteran and even led the Bruins with an individual fourth-place finish at the Mason Rudolph Invitational earlier this season.
No. 21 redshirt sophomore Lee Lopez did not make this week’s cut to travel with the team despite top-25 finishes in both tournaments this year.
Also competing in the Landfall Tradition are nine of the top 30 teams in the nation, including No. 5 Duke, No. 8 Virginia and No. 13 North Carolina.
If the Bruins are to win this weekend in such a competitive field, they are going to have to rely on any advantage they can come across.
That is where course knowledge comes into play. Although the Bruins have never played in the Landfall Tradition before, several members of the team are familiar with the course.
Last year, the Landfall Tradition golf course hosted the NCAA Fall Preview, where UCLA finished in second place, losing to Duke by a single stroke.