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UCLA women’s golf wins team, individual titles in Nanea Pac-12 Preview

Senior Kate Villegas eyes the ball after her swing. (Courtesy of Jesus Ramirez/UCLA Athletics)

Women's Golf

Nanea Pac-12 Preview

1st place (-11,865)

By Sabrina Baker

Feb. 23, 2024 7:09 p.m.

The Bruins rode a trifecta of waves to success in the rainbow state.

No. 3 UCLA women’s golf competed in the Nanea Pac-12 Preview at Nanea Golf Club in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, from Feb. 19 to Feb. 21, where it won the team title, the individual title and carded a hole-in-one. The team finished at 11-under 865, four strokes ahead of No. 1 Stanford.

“We’re really happy about pulling out the win in Hawaii against such a strong field,” said coach Alicia Um Holmes. “Any time we play against conference teams, it’s good competition.”

The Bruins’ individual win came from junior Zoe Antoinette Campos, who carded a score of 8-under 211 to finish one stroke ahead of USC’s Amari Avery and Stanford’s Paula Martin Sampedro. This marks Campos’ first individual win of the season and the third of her collegiate career, with the first two coming at the Silverado Showdown and the Anuenue Spring Break Classic.

Campos said the win was the culmination of all her practice.

“All the hard work is paying off,” Campos said. “I know it’s been a couple months since I’ve had indy (individual) wins, so it’s nice to be back in the circle again.”

Behind Campos, UCLA’s second-best finisher was senior Kate Villegas, who carded a score of 4-under 215.

Villegas’ final round was highlighted by a hole-in-one on the eleventh hole, which she said was the fourth hole-in-one of her career but her first collegiate hole-in-one.

Villegas added that she was shocked when she figured out she had hit a hole-in-one.

“I heard my parents start screaming and I was like, ‘No way,’” Villegas said. “Then I look at Erynne (assistant coach Erynne Yoo), and she’s like, ‘It’s in, it’s in,’ and then we just started celebrating, and it was a cool moment.”

The Bruins’ carded consistent team scores over the course of the three days, with only a one-stroke differential between the first round and the second and third rounds.

Sitting in fifth place after the first round, UCLA moved into a tie for Stanford after the second round before ultimately finishing as the sole victor on the final day of competition.

Um Holmes said the team’s consistency can be attributed to the players’ attitudes.

“After the first round, when we found ourselves behind, it didn’t really set anything into panic,” Um Holmes said. “We just knew that we could play well out here and play steady. And then if we did that, good things would happen.”

The tournament is aptly named the Pac-12 Preview, with eight other teams coming from the conference alongside No. 17 San Jose State, Hawai’i and San Diego State. The next time the Pac-12 teams will play in a conference tournament will be in April for the conference championship.

Um Holmes said she had more takeaways to learn from from her team’s performance than she did from the conference opponents.

“Even though we won, there is still room for improvement,” Um Holmes said. “They played really solid, they are doing a really good job sticking to their process goals. But we do still have work to do with our short games and a little bit of course management here and there.”

Before the Bruins compete in the conference championships, they will compete in four more tournaments, starting with The Show in Las Vegas on March 4 and March 5.

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Sabrina Baker | Sports contributor
Baker is currently a Sports contributor on the swim & dive beat.
Baker is currently a Sports contributor on the swim & dive beat.
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