Women’s golf claims 7th place at Stanford Intercollegiate
Freshman Ty Akabane competed individually at the Stanford Intercollegiate. Akabane tied for 11th place along with freshman Emma Spitz, making the duo the Bruins’ best scorers of the weekend. (Courtesy of UCLA Athletics)
By Justin Auh
October 14, 2019 12:53 am
The Bruins could not break free from the middle of the pack.
No. 12 UCLA women’s golf shot a 15-over 867 to finish in seventh place at the Stanford Intercollegiate. The team stood in sixth out of 17 teams after round one but dropped to seventh for the remainder of the tournament.
“We need to be better putters,” said coach Carrie Forsyth. “We had a lot of opportunities and (were) not making enough birdies. For the most part, most of the girls did a pretty good job off the tee … good enough to score a low number.”
Freshman Ty Akabane led the tournament in pars with 43. She finished tied for 11th at 1-under 212, co-leading the Bruins and earning the first top-20 finish of her college career.
At the Golfweek Conference Challenge from Sept. 23 to Sept. 25, freshman Yuki Yoshihara competed individually while Akabane was in the lineup.
But this week, Akabane competed as an individual, so her score did not count toward UCLA’s team standing. Had she replaced Yoshihara – the team’s lowest finisher – the Bruins would have improved their score by 14 strokes to earn a top-five finish.
“Playing as an individual and not being able to use my score to help the team definitely motivated me,” Akabane said. “I wanted to prove to myself that I could have three consistent rounds since at my first two tournaments I had one bad round. Here, I played consistently for all three days, so that proved to me that I can compete at this level.”
Freshman Emma Spitz, who was the Bruins’ top finisher for their first two tournaments, also tied for 11th. Spitz and Akabane posted identical scores in each of the three rounds.
“I think my long game has been really solid throughout all of the tournaments,” Spitz said. “The rough (at Stanford) was very high, and if you were in the rough, you had to lay up. I was in the rough only a couple of times in the three rounds, so I could just choose any shot I wanted to hit it to the green.”
In the second round, Spitz sunk the team’s only eagle of the tournament on the par-5 seventh hole. She earned her first collegiate eagle after double-bogeying the previous hole.
The next best UCLA scorer was freshman Annabel Wilson, who finished tied for 32nd at 5-over 218. After shooting 3-over in round one, Wilson posted consecutive 1-over rounds to finish with a 218.
Sophomore Simar Singh rebounded from a 7-over opening round Friday, collectively shooting even par over the next two days. Singh finished tied for 43rd, climbing from a tie for 79th after round one.
Rounding out the lineup were freshmen Emilie Paltrinieri and Yoshihara, who tied for 58th and 65th, respectively. Both players shot above par in all three rounds.
The Bruins will have three weeks off before traveling to Kohala, Hawaii, to compete in the Nanea Pac-12 Preview from Nov. 4 to Nov. 6.