Thursday, February 27

Women’s golf makes bid to win third NCAA championship in a row

Junior Mariel Galdiano and UCLA women's golf last played at the Palos Verdes Golf Club for the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge in February. (Courtesy of Ohio State Athletics)

The Bruins have a chance to three-peat.

No. 13 UCLA women’s golf will compete in the Pac-12 Championships in Palos Verdes Estates, California, from April 15-17. The team is seeking its third straight Pac-12 title, a feat it last achieved from 2004 to 2006.

Last year, the Bruins won the team championship by 12 strokes. Sophomore Patty Tavatanakit defeated former UCLA teammate and current LPGA rookie, Lilia Vu, in a one-hole playoff to claim the individual title.

Tavatanakit most recently scored even par to tie for 26th at the ANA Inspiration, an LPGA major tournament.

Joining Tavatanakit in the lineup are senior Beth Wu, juniors Mariel Galdiano and Clare Legaspi and freshman Phoebe Yue. Coach Carrie Forsyth said she deliberated between Yue and sophomore Vera Markevich before ultimately choosing Yue.

“We went with (Yue) because she is a longer hitter, and we feel like that’s going to be pretty valuable in the postseason as the courses get longer,” Forsyth said. “I think she brings a lot of good energy to this team, and we’re just hoping that she will be able to withstand some of the pressure and do what she needs to do.”

Yue finished tied for third at the Bruin Wave Invitational back in February but finished last at the PING/ASU Invitational two weeks ago.

The Bruins previously played at the Palos Verdes Golf Club in the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge in February, where the team finished second. Galdiano said the course will not be played the same way because of several layout changes.

“They extended the course on some holes and shortened it on others,” Galdiano said. “When we played in February, it was really wet and soft. Today, (in practice), the ball rolled a lot faster, so we just need to make our adjustments.”

UCLA finished no higher than eighth in its past three tournaments. However, Forsyth said she anticipates better performances in the postseason because of roster stability.

“To be honest, we haven’t played with our top-five lineup since the Bruin Wave,” Forsyth said. “I feel that now we have everybody back together, I think we’re going to trend up in the postseason.”

The Bruins will tee off Monday, April 15, at the Palos Verdes Golf Club.

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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