Women's Golf Opens WCC Championships in Unfamiliar Place
April 16, 2012
There's plenty of time for Pepperdine to make a comeback, however. Two rounds are still to be played at the par-72 San Juan Oaks Golf Club the next two days, and the Waves (313) are only eight strokes behind the leader, San Francisco (305).
"We had a bad day," Pepperdine Coach Laurie Gibbs said. "We got off to a bad start. But there are two more rounds and we'll come back and fight hard. We won't do anything different. We just need to believe in ourselves and trust in the hard work that we've put in. We've dealt with some injuries to two of our key players, but they're back out there now. With so many holes to play we've just got to go out and get the ball in the hole, and then I think our experience will prevail."
Pepperdine has won 13 of the 15 WCC Championships ever contested. San Francisco won the other two in 1997 and 2001.
The Waves' two freshmen, Alina Ching (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School) and Somin Lee (Denver, Colo./Overland HS), had the team's best scores of the day. Ching shot a 76 and is tied for fifth place and Lee's 77 put her into a tie for eighth place. Ching had a team-high total of four birdies.
Also at risk is the Waves' 10-year streak of producing the individual medalist. Maggie Yuan of BYU leads the tournament with a 74, two shots better than Ching.
Two of the Waves' top players, sophomore Grace Na (Alameda, Calif./Alameda HS) and senior Kaitlin Drolson (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif./Torrey Pines HS), weren't able to practice much the last few weeks while recovering from injuries. It showed on Monday, as Na shot an 80 (tied for 18th place) and Drolson produced an 82 (tied for 23rd place). Na won last year's WCC individual title and Drolson has three career top-five finishes at the WCC Championships. Na had a rough front nine but came back with eight straight pars on the back nine. Drolson also had a much better finish.
Sophomore Liv Cheng (Auckland, New Zealand) is also tied for 18th place with an 80.
Team Scores: 1. San Francisco 304; 2. Seattle 308; 3. Gonzaga 309; 4. Pepperdine 313; 5. Santa Clara 318; 6. Brigham Young 319.
Top Individuals: 1. Maggie Yuan (BYU) 74; T2. Bethany Garton (San Francisco) 75; T2. Caitlin McCleary (Seattle) 75; T2. Eyglo Oskarsdottir (San Francisco) 75; T2. Lori Pearson (Seattle) 75.