The Bruins showed little signs of rust.
In its first tournament in three months, No. 12 UCLA women’s golf placed second at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge, finishing with a score of 17-over 869. Despite rain in the first two rounds and heavy winds throughout the tournament, coach Carrie Forsyth said the team’s performance exceeded her expectations.
“It’s been a challenging week, but we stayed very patient,” Forsyth said. “The course and conditions were a total test of emotional stability.”
Three Bruins finished inside the top 10, with junior Clare Legaspi and sophomore Patty Tavatanakit tying for fourth. The fourth-place finish was Legaspi’s highest tournament placement of her collegiate career.
“I approached each round relatively the same way,” Legaspi said. “I think it was important to be as calm as possible, especially with the high winds.”
The Bruins shot a combined 7-over in the first round, leading the 16-team field by four strokes. Legaspi and senior Beth Wu each shot even par to pace the team.
UCLA improved its combined score by two strokes in round two, but the team dropped to second place. Stanford shot a 5-under Monday to take a six-stroke lead heading into the final round.
The Bruins pulled to within one stroke of the Cardinal in round three, but they ultimately remained in second place, two strokes behind Stanford. Junior Mariel Galdiano shot a 1-under 70 in the final round to finish tied for eighth.
“I had some misses with my driver this week that cost me some strokes, and I had some makeable putts that I missed,” Galdiano said. “Palos Verdes is always tough, and the conditions were very difficult. … I hung in there, but I know I can do a lot better.”
Tavatanakit competed in her first collegiate tournament since September. She was away from the team for most of the fall season as she participated in the LPGA Qualifying Series. Senior Lilia Vu left the team after qualifying for the LPGA.
“It’s very important to have (Tavatanakit) back in the lineup because she’s always so consistent with her scoring,” Forsyth said. “There’s some (aspects) she’s going to have to clean up a bit, but it was a good tournament for her.”
Wu placed tied for 16th at 7-over after shooting 3-over and 4-over in her latter two rounds.
Sophomore Vera Markevich finished in 83rd place at 34-over. By comparison, Stanford’s No. 5 finisher, Kelsey Zeng, shot 20-over and was tied for 63rd. Freshman Phoebe Yue, who competed as an individual, scored 28-over to place tied for 79th.
“We do get to bring six players to a couple of (future) tournaments, so we have a chance to get them both playing as much as possible,” Forsyth said. ‘My main goal for both (Markevich and Yue) is to get them playing at a higher level.”
UCLA will return to action Feb. 25 when it hosts the Bruin Wave Invitational at San Luis Obispo, California.