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Women’s golf finishes second at Bruin Wave Invitational with 3 players in top 10

Freshman Emilie Paltrinieri was the second-best finisher for UCLA women’s golf at the Bruin Wave Invitational, which wrapped up Tuesday afternoon. She placed third behind freshman Emma Spitz, who tied for first place with Northwestern’s Kelly Sim. (Courtney Quirmbach/Daily Bruin)

By Daniel Lieber

Feb. 26, 2020 12:07 a.m.

Two Bruin freshmen placed in the top three Tuesday, both earning career-best finishes.

No. 12 UCLA women’s golf shot a 16-over 880 at the Bruin Wave Invitational in San Luis Obispo, California, finishing in second place behind No. 2 USC.

The Bruins finished day one in third place with a 12-over 588, shooting an 8-over 296 in round one and improving to a 4-over 292 in round two. UCLA pushed into second place by the end of day two, shooting five strokes better than Northwestern in round three and finishing two strokes better than the Wildcats overall.

Leading UCLA was freshman Emma Spitz, who tied for first place and earned her first collegiate win shooting a 5-under 211.

Despite being the team’s top finisher, the freshman said prior to this week’s tournament she wanted to prove to herself that she could do better than her seventh place performance at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge two weeks ago.

She did just that and credited her performance Tuesday to an improvement in composure more than anything else.

“I don’t necessarily think my game was much better than last week,” Spitz said. “It was more my mental game that definitely was better.”

Freshman Emilie Paltrinieri also finished the day with a career-high finish in third place after shooting a 2-under 214.

Paltrinieri said it was her first time playing on the San Luis Obispo Country Club course, but her putting today was what helped her inch toward the top of the leaderboard.

“I was quite consistent with my tee shots, but I think what I did best were my putts,” Paltrinieri said. “The greens here are really difficult, but I hit my putts well and made many of them.”

Freshman Annabel Wilson also finished in the top 10 with a 4-over 220 but was not part of the starting lineup. Instead, she played as an alternate alongside freshman Yuki Yoshihara, who finished tied for 41st with a 19-over 235.

Senior Clare Legaspi made her return to the starting lineup this week, finishing tied for 28th with a 13-over 229. Rounding out the rest of the starting lineup was senior Mariel Galdiano – who shot a 16-over 232 tied for 35th – and sophomore Phoebe Yue, who tied Yoshihara for 41st place with a 19-over 235.

Coach Carrie Forsyth said she thought the Bruins would have had a good chance to win if a couple players would have played better toward the end, but she was happy overall with the effort and performance put in by her team.

“It was really nice to see three Bruins in the top 10 and one as co-champion,” Forsyth said. “So I’m pleased, you know, I can’t say I’m not.”

The Bruins will have a week and a half to build on this week’s performance and prepare for their next event March 6 at the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

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Daniel Lieber | Sports contributor
Lieber is currently a Sports contributor on the men's and women's golf beats. He was previously a contributor on the men's soccer beat.
Lieber is currently a Sports contributor on the men's and women's golf beats. He was previously a contributor on the men's soccer beat.
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