Tuesday, January 22

Women’s golf ends its final tournament on a high note

Despite lacking several key players, the UCLA women finish strong in the final round of the Longhorn Invitational in Texas

Sophomore Erynne Lee had a team-best score at the Longhorn Invitational in Texas.

Sophomore Erynne Lee had a team-best score at the Longhorn Invitational in Texas.

UCLA Athletics

With so many obstacles thrown its way, the course the women’s golf team has taken is unexpected, to say the least.

Despite one injury after another and less-than-desirable weather, every member of the team has had to intensify her efforts.

With senior Tiffany Lua and sophomore Kyle Roig out for the tournament, the team showed up to the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational short-handed.

With only four players, every score counts, and the women felt the pressure.

“It’s been a challenge. It’s hard mentally when you know that your score is going to count and if you mess up, it will hurt the team,” said coach Carrie Forsyth.

Despite missing key players, the Bruins managed to place eighth, shooting 894 ( 30) with an impressive final round on Tuesday.

The women had the second-lowest round of the tournament, only one stroke behind Arkansas.

“It’s something to be proud of,” Forsyth said.

Sophomore Erynne Lee went out with a strong finish, ending the tournament with 15 birdies and five strokes under par and tying for third overall.

“(Tuesday) and the first day, she was just really on, hitting it well, making some putts,” Forsyth said.

“She had a double on her very last hole and that was kind of a hard way to finish, but she didn’t let it bother her. It was a great finish.”

Lee, who was recently selected to represent the United States in the 2013 Copa de las Americas, proved she was worthy of the honor with the performance she put on in this tournament, despite playing in the final rounds with a minor ankle sprain and a cold.

“I don’t think the other three girls are very happy with their first two rounds,” Forsyth said.

“They know that they’re better players than the number that they shot, but at least (on Tuesday), everybody played better, and the scoring was a little bit better.”

Redshirt senior Lee Lopez finished the tournament second among the Bruins, shooting 225 ( 9), a strong conclusion to what Lopez considered a strong season.

“We had good times,” Lopez said. “We worked on a lot of things and we finished really strong, which give us a really good feeling going into our spring season.”

The team hopes this chance to refine its skills will serve it well in the spring, when it will rejoin its missing players ““ including standout Lua ““ in pursuit of postseason success.

“Fall was an interesting season. It was full of a lot of changes,” said junior Ani Gulugian, who ended the tournament one stroke behind Lopez. “I’m looking forward to coming back strong and having a full team, hopefully, and just working really hard towards the postseason (in spring).”

Although the Bruins have gone through their share of struggles in their fall season, players and coach alike agree the experience was a positive one.

“I think the fall season’s been very challenging, but I feel like everybody learned something and that we’re going to be a better team,” Forsyth said.

“In the long run, that will help us a lot.”

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