Michelle Murakami, Daily Bruin contributor
Darius Rucker’s music is typically associated with fishing and tractors, but the award-winning country artist’s name will be plastered along the links for the Bruins’ next tournament.
No. 5 UCLA women’s golf will compete at the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, this weekend. The Bruins have never gone to the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate – which was started in 2012 – and will be joined by No. 3 Duke, No. 6 Vanderbilt and four-time Darius Rucker champion No. 21 Alabama.
At last week’s Bruin Wave Invitational, freshman Phoebe Yue recorded a career-best finish – tying for third with an 8-over 224 – while senior Beth Wu tied for 18th with a 12-over 228. While she said she was proud of Yue, Wu also said she thought she was striking the ball better than she ever had at UCLA.
“I think I did better than I thought (I would do) because that course is already so difficult and I’ve never really played well there,” Wu said. “The last two rounds were a lot better than I expected. I felt really good with my ball striking and I think I’ve been hitting it the best that I have since coming to UCLA.”
Coach Carrie Forsyth said the team still has to adjust some smaller aspects of their game in order to make strides this weekend.
“I think one thing for the group as a whole is wedge game, pitching and getting it closer to the hole,” Forsyth said. “I think we could do a lot better and clean things up.”
The Bruins will start the intercollegiate Friday and will finish up Sunday.
Angie Forburger, assistant Sports editor
The Bruins are back at Ballona Creek.
UCLA rowing will kick off its season against San Diego State in Marina del Rey, California, on Saturday. The Bruins will compete in four races against the Aztecs, with both teams racing their third varsity eight crews and varsity four crews.
“We’re really excited,” said coach Amy Fuller Kearney. “It’s really early (in the) season still, so it’s kind of like laying the ground work (and creating) a starting point for what our race strategy will be. We’ll just continue to build until we get into the heart of the racing season.”
UCLA finished sixth last season at the Pac-12 championships, failing to qualify for the NCAA championships.
Fuller Kearney said the Bruins have been training in the off-season to get in the best shape possible and to be able to perform in high-stakes races.
“I know they pull hard, I know they’re fit, but I really want to see how they can hold the technique and execution under physiological stress,” she said. “That’s going to be our first test.”
UCLA’s race against San Diego State will be the first of two straight races at home for the Bruins, who will host Loyola Marymount on March 16.
“It’s always nice to have a home race (and) to be down on Ballona Creek,” Fuller Kearney said. “(There’s) a bike path (where) you can watch the whole race (so) it’s a nice starting platform because I can really watch what they’re doing for the entire 2,000 meters.”
The Bruins’ first race Saturday will begin at 9:30 a.m.
Track and field
Peter Frederick, Daily Bruin reporter
Six Bruins will compete against the best track and field athletes in the nation this weekend.
Junior distance runner Robert Brandt and freshman pole vaulter Sondre Guttormsen will compete along with a quartet of throwers, including sophomore Alyssa Wilson, senior Justin Stafford, and redshirt senior throwers Dotun Ogundeji and Ashlie Blake at the NCAA Division I indoor championships in Birmingham, Alabama.
“I think if I (make this my best meet so far) it will be possible for me to be in the top three or even get a PR,” Guttormsen said. “I can’t change how the other guys jump, it’s more about how well I jump and what mark I’ll be able to achieve.”
Guttormsen has earned three first-place finishes this season. He set a UCLA indoor and Norwegian record earlier this season at the Don Kirby Collegiate Elite Invitational with a vault of 5.73 meters.
The six Bruins qualified for nationals by finishing the regular season ranked in the top 16 nationally in their respective events. The athletes will be competing across events Friday and Saturday.