Saturday, January 25

Women’s golf retains top ranking nearing break in play

Junior Mariel Galdiano tied for first place at the Stanford Intercollegiate this weekend. It was her second straight victory of the fall season, but UCLA women's golf finished tied for ninth place. (Courtesy of UCLA Athletics)

Although the Bruins did not attain team success, one player remained on top.

Junior Mariel Galdiano finished 8 under par to finish tied for first place, earning her second-straight tournament victory, while No. 1 UCLA women’s golf finished tied for ninth place at the Stanford Intercollegiate.

“The win feels good, but at the same time, I didn’t play all that well today,” Galdiano said. “There’s a lot that I can still improve on.”

Galdiano was tied for 14th place at even par after the first round, four strokes behind fellow junior Clare Legaspi for the lead.

Galdiano would write her name in the record books following a second round performance where she shot a 9-under 62, achieving her lowest-scoring round ever. She scored 10 birdies compared to only one bogey on Saturday.

The junior’s round of 62 was the lowest single-round score in UCLA history. Further, her score of 9-under tied senior Lilia Vu and sophomore Patty Tavatanakit for the lowest single round score relative to par.

“I just wasn’t thinking that much about forcing shots or making putts. It was just coming naturally (in round two),” Galdiano said.

Despite finishing with a 1-over 72 in the final round, Galdiano was able to secure the title along with Pepperdine’s Hira Naveed, who scored a 3-under final round.

“To finally get that first win (last tournament) was like a catapult,” said coach Carrie Forsyth. “Winning back-to-back, I’m just super happy for her.”

Legaspi held a share of the lead after the first round with five other players, finishing with three straight birdies on holes 16 through 18 to reach 4-under par.

A 5-over round two put the junior out of contention. Legaspi recorded 1-over par in the final round to finish tied for 20th.

“Putting wasn’t too good (in round two). … My hands were stiff because I was nervous,” Legaspi said. “I think I just need to be in that (leading) position more often to get used to it again.”

The Bruins’ top two players – Vu and Tavatanakit – were absent from the lineup in order to prepare for the upcoming LPGA Q-Series.

Replacing them were sophomore Vera Markevich and freshman Phoebe Yue, both making their collegiate debuts and placing near the bottom of the leaderboard.

Yue scored 25-over par to finish tied for 84th place out of 89 athletes. Markevich tied for 80th place at 23-over.

Forsyth highlighted how each player contributed a solid round – Yue with a 4-over 75 in round two and Markevich with a 2-over 73 in the final round.

“(Those rounds) were everything I had hoped for, and hopefully they would use them as motivation,” Forsyth said.

The Bruins will next compete in the Nanea Pac-12 Preview, their final fall tournament, from Nov. 5-7.

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Sports staff

Auh is currently a Sports staff writer for the men's golf and women's golf beats. He was previously a contributor on the men's tennis beat.

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