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Women’s golf tees up for Bruin Wave Invitational, hopeful for a strong finish

Freshman Emma Spitz will once again be part of the starting lineup for No. 12 UCLA women’s golf. She was the Bruins’ best finisher at their most recent tournament, placing seventh after being tied for first following the second day. (Courtesy of UCLA Athletics)

By Ellie Nowakowski

Feb. 24, 2020 12:01 a.m.

After falling just short of a win two weeks ago, the Bruins will have a chance to take first place at home.

No. 12 UCLA women’s golf will compete in the Bruin Wave Invitational at the San Luis Obispo Country Club in San Luis Obispo, California, from Monday through Tuesday. In the Bruins’ last competition, they picked up a fourth place finish despite pulling into second place in the second round.

“I’m hoping that we will go out there and have a really strong finish,” said coach Carrie Forsyth. “We’ve been really close to winning the last few events the last couple of times we’ve played competitively, and we’re always right there now, and it’s kind of up to us to get over the finish line and actually finish the tournament.”

Forsyth said the starting five will consist of freshmen Emilie Paltrinieri and Emma Spitz, sophomore Phoebe Yue and seniors Mariel Galdiano and Clare Legaspi. Freshmen Annabel Wilson and Yuki Yoshihara will be playing individually.

Spitz was UCLA’s top finisher last week, shooting a 5-under 66 in the second round to finish the day tied for first place. She dropped to seventh after day three, however, shooting a 4-over 75.

“I really want to prove to myself that I can do better, so I think that it’s a good feeling of, ‘I know I can do better, and I want to prove it to myself,'” Spitz said.

Spitz said part of her practice over the last couple of weeks has included working with the team’s sports psychologist Jeff Troesch on the mental side of the game, and staying out of her head on the course.

“It’s just a matter of not thinking of what’s going to happen if I make a bad shot or what the score is going to be,” Spitz said. “Just (focusing) on the distance that I have and just choosing a club and really committing to my plan, the outcome is going to be what the outcome is going to be.”

Over the next two days, UCLA will squeeze in three rounds of play, and is scheduled to see 36 holes on Monday alone. Normally the Bruins see one round of action per day, playing 18 holes in an outing.

“This is also one of the most fit teams I’ve had in awhile, so I’m kind of excited to see how they’ll manage that, and if they can keep it together over that extended period of time that we’re going to be out there on the golf course that day,” Forsyth said.

Legaspi, who last competed Nov. 6, said she is hoping to perform well after not competing for several tournaments. She last competed in the lineup at the Nanea Pac-12 Preview in Kohala, Hawai’i, at the Nanea Golf Club, where she tied for 23rd place.

She placed 18th in last years Bruin Wave Invitational, and said it was not her best performance.

“(My goal is to) just finish better this year, I think that that’s my goal for each tournament that I go into,” Legaspi said. “Always trying to improve and finishing better. The course at school is pretty tough, so I’m just going to give it my all and see what happens. ”

The Bruins will tee up for their first round Monday at 7:15 a.m.

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Ellie Nowakowski | Sports contributor
Nowakowski is currently a Sports contributor on the men's and women's golf beats.
Nowakowski is currently a Sports contributor on the men's and women's golf beats.
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