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UCLA women’s golf ties program record to win at Windy City Collegiate Classic

Members of UCLA women’s golf celebrate with their trophies after their first win of the season. (Courtesy of Ryan Kuttler/Northwestern Athletics)

WOMEN'S GOLF

Windy City Collegiate Classic

First place (-32, 832)

By Cecilia Schmitz

Oct. 4, 2023 2:47 p.m.

Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly stated that Alicia Um Holmes said the difference between the performances of UCLA women’s golf at its opening tournament and at the Windy City Collegiate Classic lay in making cuts. In fact, she said the difference lay in making putts.

This post was updated Oct. 9 at 3:18 p.m.

The winds of change swept through the greens of Illinois as the Bruins clinched their first win of the season.

No. 17 UCLA women’s golf traveled to Golf, Illinois, to compete in the Windy City Collegiate Classic and returned to Westwood with its first win in tow. The Bruins tied a program record, emerging with a 32-under, 832 performance ahead of a field that included four top-10 teams.

Sophomore Meghan Royal spearheaded UCLA once again, finishing in a tie for second place to top her 20th-place finish in the Bruins’ first tournament of the season.

Royal said her focus anchored her performances.

“Just sticking to my process really just helps me,” Royal said. “I tried going into this tournament with no expectations.”

Royal was not the only Bruin to excel in the tournament.

She was joined by juniors Zoe Antoinette Campos and Caroline Canales in the top 10, with the pair slotting in at fourth and eighth place, respectively.

Campos said her mentality of treating practice as a competition helped her performance.

“When I’m in practice, every shot is kind of preparation for a shot,” Campos said.

UCLA started off the tournament strong, finishing on top of the table after the first day of play. This feat marked a change from the Bruins’ opening tournament, where they were in 13th place by the end of the first day.

Coach Alicia Um Holmes said the difference between the two performances lay in making putts.

“The girls have been striking the ball really well. A lot of greens, having a lot of opportunities for birdies,” Um Holmes said. “But the first two rounds at Vanderbilt (Mason Rudolph Championship), we just didn’t make any putts. So our scores weren’t that great, but the team played pretty solid.”

The Windy City Collegiate Classic was a two-day tournament played over the course of 54 holes, with 36 happening on the first day alone.

Royal said mental toughness allowed the Bruins to maintain their composure through the duration of the tournament.

“Honestly, it was just a mental battle out there,” Royal said. “Playing 36 holes definitely takes a toll on your body. So I think just staying strong mentally really helped.”

The tournament marked a series of firsts for the Bruins – their first victory of the season, their current roster’s first time competing in the Windy City Collegiate Classic and Um Holmes’ first win as head coach.

UCLA’s top finish handed Um Holmes her first one as head coach after 17 years as an associate and assistant coach and four seasons as a player for UCLA women’s golf. Um Holmes said her first win at the squad’s helm was beyond what she had expected.

“I feel a little bit amazed. It feels surreal that it happened so quickly,” Um Holmes said. “And in this field especially, it was so strong, and honestly, I didn’t expect for us to come out with a victory.”

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Cecilia Schmitz | Assistant Sports editor
Schmitz is a 2023-2024 assistant Sports editor on the women’s soccer, beach volleyball, women’s golf and cross country beats. She was previously a contributor on the women’s soccer and beach volleyball beats and a staffer for the Outreach section. She is also a third-year political science and communication student.
Schmitz is a 2023-2024 assistant Sports editor on the women’s soccer, beach volleyball, women’s golf and cross country beats. She was previously a contributor on the women’s soccer and beach volleyball beats and a staffer for the Outreach section. She is also a third-year political science and communication student.
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