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Following setbacks, UCLA women’s golf looks to improve at The Beach Invitational

Sophomore Zoe Antoinette Campos follows through on a swing. (Courtesy of UCLA Athletics)

WOMEN’S GOLF

The Beach Invitational

Monday to Tuesday

Mission Viejo, CA

By Austin Tran

Feb. 26, 2023 4:15 p.m.

The Bruins will have the chance to bounce back from their worst finish of the year.

Coming on the heels of an 11th-place finish at the Therese Hession Regional Challenge – the Bruins’ first outside of the top five – No. 20 UCLA women’s golf is heading to Orange County to compete at The Beach Invitational in Mission Viejo, California, on Monday and Tuesday. The invitational’s field consists of 15 teams, with UCLA as the lone Pac-12 representative, a change from the Therese Hession Regional Challenge, which featured five conference opponents.

Coach Carrie Forsyth said the team needs to play with more confidence after its tournament two weeks ago, something that has been emphasized since the start of the spring season.

“We overemphasized the difficulty of the course, the wind and the conditions, and that created an environment where some of our players felt like their games weren’t up to the challenge of what we were going to be facing,” Forsyth said. “(We need) just a different mindset: Going in and recognizing that we’ve played plenty of difficult courses and conditions and we are up to the task.”

While the team suffered its greatest setback of the year, sophomore Zoe Antoinette Campos was the lone bright spot, finishing in a tie for 12th. She has not finished outside the top 15 in any of her events in the 2022-23 season.

Campos attributes her performance to an increase in confidence in her golf game, as compared to her freshman season. She emphasized that staying patient has been the key to her ascent as a sophomore.

Forsyth said Campos’ mentality is strong and something other members of the team can take a page out of.

“I can tell you even in her own words that she doesn’t feel like there’s a shot she is not capable of hitting,” Forsyth said. “That speaks volumes to her level of belief in herself and the confidence she has and that she’s been bringing out into the competition arena. That’s something that we need to have more of – I think we have some players who are not channeling their best selves out there in terms of their belief.”

Alongside Campos, the lineup will consist of mostly returners from the Therese Hession Regional Challenge: sophomore Caroline Canales, redshirt sophomore Alessia Nobilio and senior Annabel Wilson. Senior Yuki Yoshihara will be replacing senior Emilie Paltrinieri in the fifth spot.

Monday’s event is similar to that of two weeks ago, with small, sloping greens and potentially wet conditions littering the course. While ball placement and ball striking will be imperative to the team’s success this week, Campos said having the right mental approach proves critical as well.

“It’s really just believing in ourselves and knowing what we’re capable of,” Campos said. “We sometimes forget that we’re all really good, and we are just focusing on the conditions and how hard the course is. But in reality, for us, since we’re as good as we are, we can play at any course no matter what the weather is.”

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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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