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UCLA women’s golf settles for runner-up in USF Intercollegiate

Redshirt junior Ty Akabane watches her ball after a drive. (Courtesy of Alicia Um Holmes/UCLA Athletics)


USF Intercollegiate

Second place (E, 852)

By Austin Tran

Sept. 14, 2022 11:49 a.m.

After leading the USF Intercollegiate through 36 holes, the Bruins left empty-handed.

No. 5 UCLA women’s golf was 4-under par as a team heading into the final day of competition but fell back to even par Tuesday and settled for runner-up. The Bruins were ultimately leapfrogged by San Jose State, who shot a 10-under 274 as a team Tuesday to secure a four-stroke victory.

Coach Carrie Forsyth attributed the performance of the team on the final day to a lack of made putts and poor decision-making.

“A couple of the girls made some course management errors that caused bogeys or doubles, and we just didn’t make a lot of putts today,” Forsyth said. “Even when we did hit good shots and had good looks, we just didn’t make a lot of birdies.”

Redshirt junior Ty Akabane and sophomore Caroline Canales – a semifinalist in the California Women’s Amateur Championship – each posted a 3-under 210, leading the team and placing them in a tie for fourth place.

Before this tournament, Akabane’s collegiate career-low score was a 69, but she bested this mark not once but twice with back-to-back 3-under 68s in rounds one and two.

After finding herself in the lead for the first time in her collegiate career, she fell back three spots after a 3-over 74 in the final round.

“I just didn’t hit as many fairways as I did the last two rounds yesterday (Monday),” Akabane said. “I didn’t have the best lies coming in, … they were just a little bit harder to judge. I feel like more putts dropped yesterday (Monday). I still made a good amount of birdies, … I just had a couple errant tee shots that led to doubles.”

Nevertheless, a tie for fourth was good enough for the best finish of her collegiate career. She said some of her on-course successes can be contributed to the growth she had over the summer.

“I did a lot of mental work with my mental coach this summer,” Akabane said. “I feel a lot more balanced as a person, … my mind has been a lot more relaxed. I felt calm coming into today (Tuesday), it was just dumb mistakes that messed me up a little bit.”

Canales secured the second top-five finish of her career and led the team in birdies with 12. She and Akabane were the only members of the team to finish under par on the par threes. Canales said working on mental toughness and her long iron play prepared her for this week.

Following Akabane and Canales were redshirt sophomore Alessia Nobilio and senior Annabel Wilson. Nobilio finished with a total of 1-over 214, and Wilson notched a 5-over 218 – good for a tie for 10th and 21st, respectively. Senior Emilie Paltrinieri rounded out the team with a total of 27-over 240, finishing in a tie for 54th.

While the Bruins’ brought five members for the team event, they also had two extra players participate as unaffiliated individuals: senior Yuki Yoshihara and graduate student Phoebe Yue.

Yoshihara finished in a tie for 36th with a score of 10-over 223, and Yue – who played in her second event in the last two seasons – finished in a tie for 41st with a score of 11-over 224.

Despite the team shooting its worst score of the tournament on the final day, Forsyth said she likes where the team is headed, especially with the strong finishes that the players had over the summer. She added that if the team establishes consistency in its play, it could be a perennial contender in future events.

“These girls can play,” Forsyth said. “We just need to work on a few things. In golf, nobody plays good every single week. There are a lot of factors in consistency out here. If we can consistently be in contention and consistently shoot good quality numbers, I am going to be very pleased.”

UCLA will return to play on Oct. 3 at The Blessings Golf Club.

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Austin Tran | Sports reporter
Tran is currently a Sports reporter on the men's and women's golf beats.
Tran is currently a Sports reporter on the men's and women's golf beats.
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