SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Santa Clara University women's golf team is set to open the 2012-13 season as part of the 14-team field competing at Washington State University's Cougar Cup on Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 24-25.
Now in her second full season as Santa Clara's head coach, Krystal Kelly has added four young players to the roster for 2012-13. At least two true freshmen will be competing at the upcoming Cougar Cup, along with returning standouts Taylor Camany (2012 All-WCC First Team), Balbina Guajardo (eight top-16 finishes in nine events last season) and Kaci McCartan (top 25 at 2012 WCC Championships).
"I think this will be a great test for us, especially when you consider the field," said Kelly, an NCAA All-American and National Champion player while attending UCLA. "(The players) have been working really hard in practice on their short games and course management, but I also like what I am seeing from their attitude, in terms of being driven internally to succeed."
Pac-12 Conference program's No. 10 Cal and No. 75 Washington State, along with 2009 Cougar Cup Champions No. 70 Idaho (located just eight miles from Pullman), figure to be among the teams competing for the tournament title. Santa Clara has an opportunity to immediately move up the national rankings if the Broncos post a top-tier finish.
"There are two things that we look at: process and outcome," answered Kelly when asked what she expects to see from her players on Monday and Tuesday. "Process wise, I really want to see them commit to each shot, commit to each decision that they are making. Outcome wise, we are aiming for a 305 (team score) or better in each round. That's one of our team goals this year."
Kelly stresses the philosophy of playing 'smart golf,' teaching her players to take advantage of opportunities when presented, while opting for the 'percentage shot' if the situation calls for it, even though the conservative approach may not always be the player's first choice.
Camany, a junior from nearby Salinas, Calif., and Guajardo, a senior from Monterrey, Mexico, have both proven they can win tournament titles as individuals. Camany won the 2011 SCU Colby Collegiate and Guajardo captured medalist honors at the 2011 Lamkin Grip Invitational last fall.
Kelly is excited to see how her younger players respond to their first collegiate tournament action. Each student-athlete not chosen to make the trip to Pullman this week will be entered in SCU's next event, the 2012 Firestone Cal Poly Invitational at Monarch Dunes Golf Course Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 8 and 9.
All 10 players reported to campus two weeks ago and classes got underway at SCU this past Monday, Sept. 17. The Broncos have been, and will continue to, practice twice a week at Cinnabar Hills Golf Course in South San Jose. Additionally, three times per week, the student-athletes undergo fitness training under the direction of SCU Women's Golf Strength and Conditioning Coach Sherman Trigg.
2012 WSU Cougar Cup
Dates (Site): Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 24-25, 2012 (Pullman, Wash.)
Host: Washington State University
*Field (14 teams): California (10), Idaho (70), UC Irvine (71), Washington State (75), Gonzaga (85), Cal State Fullerton (89), BYU (104), Sacramento State (119), Nevada (120), Montana (133), Santa Clara (137), Portland State (150), Montana State (178) and Eastern Washington (201)
Details: 36 holes played Monday and the final 18 holes played Tuesday. First-round tee times begin via a shotgun start at 8 a.m. Monday, with final round play Tuesday getting underway at 8:30 a.m.
Course: Palouse Ridge Golf Club
Yardage/Par: 6,200-yards/Par 73
Course Website: PalouseRidge.wsu.edu
Course Number: (509) 335-4342
Live Scoring: GolfStat.com