YORBA LINDA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University women's golf team improved its team score in each of the final two rounds en route to a 7th-place finish at The Gold Rush presented by Farmers Insurance this week at Yorba Linda Country Club in Orange County. The Broncos out-played WCC rival BYU and top 100 opponents Cal State Fullerton and Nevada at the 11-team event hosted by Long Beach State.
"The greens were really difficult out here," said Santa Clara head coach Krystal Kelly on Tuesday, when asked about the 6,077-yard layout at Yorba Linda Country Club. "The playing conditions were ideal, but the greens are what makes this course tough. We learned a lot from this tournament. Definitely saw some good things out there, we birdied 18 holes and had 120 pars, but unfortunately there were some frustrating holes for us and a few tough stretches."
True freshman Ashley Noda (Roseville, Calif. / St. Francis) was even on the par-3s throughout the event and birdied three holes during final round play Tuesday to finish with a 79. Noda tied for 27th individually with rounds of 82-80-79. Sophomore Kaci McCartan (Plano, Tex. / Ursuline Academy) equaled Noda's team-best total of 241 with rounds of 80-81-80 to also finish in a tie for 27th.
Senior Balbina Guajardo (Monterrey, Mexico / American School Foundation of Monterrey) rebounded from a slow start on Monday to fire a final-round 77 on Tuesday. Freshman Monique Riley (Pleasanton, Calif. / Amador Valley) showed signs of contending for the title, getting into the leaderboard's top 10 on the final day, before slipping back into the field and placing 31st.
"We turn around and go to Stanford this weekend," said Kelly, referring to the Broncos' upcoming stretch of playing in four consecutive tournaments. "That is a challenge for everyone, for example the five players that were here will have the day off (tomorrow) and the other five that were not here will be out at (Boulder Ridge) practicing. This is a crucial stretch for us the next four weeks, but we all know that and are ready for it."
The Gold Rush presented by Farmers Insurance
Dates: Monday, Feb., 11 and Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013
Host: Long Beach State University
Field (11 teams): Gonzaga (60), Washington State (68), UC Irvine (70), Cal State Fullerton (73), Long Beach State (80), San Diego State (81), Nevada (92), BYU (118), Portland State (137), Santa Clara (150), Cal State Northridge (192)
Details: 54-hole tournament (36-holes Monday, 18-holes Tuesday) Shotgun start on both days at 8 a.m. (PST)
Course: Yorba Linda Country Club (Yorba Linda, Calif.)
Yardage (Par): 6,077-yards (72)
19400 E. Mountain View Avenue
Yorba Linda, CA 92886
Course Website: YorbaLindaClub.com
Course Number: (714) 779-2461
Live Scoring: GolfStat.com
*Rankings by GolfWeek.com