The Bruins rallied to a top-half finish in a pool that included eight top-10 teams.
No. 19 UCLA women’s golf shot a 6-over 858 en route to a fourth-place finish at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge in Palos Verdes Estates, California, on Tuesday.
The Bruins opened the first round with a 9-over 293 and tied for seventh, followed by an improved day two performance led by freshmen Emma Spitz and Emilie Paltrinieri, both of whom finished the second round in the top 10. UCLA finished day two with a 5-under 279, an improvement by 14 shots from its prior round.
Coach Carrie Forsyth said the day one performance held the Bruins back from placing higher, but overall she was pleased with the team’s performance.
“I wish we would have played a little bit better the first round, because that one was really what killed us,” Forsyth said. “I think we played our hearts out and we were in contention to win coming down the stretch today. We didn’t get it done, but it’s really great to be in that position.”
Sophomore Phoebe Yue said the team faced bad weather conditions, on day one in particular, that impacted play.
“We had a two-hour rain delay, the wind was going sideways and it was pouring,” Yue said. “So that made it really hard but not unexpected, here at Palos Verdes. This course is always tough.”
Paltrinieri led the Bruins’ lineup with a fourth-place finish after shooting a 4-under 209. Spitz was unable to replicate her day two performance and fell to being tied for seventh at the end of the event.
Senior Mariel Galdiano and Yue followed the freshmen up, tying for 29th and tying for 47th, respectively. Galdiano shot a 7-over 220 and Yue a 10-over 223. Rounding out the group was freshman Annabel Wilson, who shot an 11-over 224 and tied for 49th.
Last week Forsyth said this tournament was all about feedback, and Paltrinieri said that’s just what she got out of it.
“Every tournament gives you feedback,” Paltrinieri said. “In my case, I know I need to improve my short game so (this weekend) provided really important feedback for the following tournament.”
UCLA will have about two weeks to prepare for its home tournament, the Bruin Wave Invitational, starting Feb. 24.