SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Santa Clara women's golf team will host the annual Colby Invitational beginning Monday at Silver Creek Valley Country Club in San Jose. The seven-team field will play 18 holes on both Monday and Tuesday on the 6,146 yard, par 72 course.
Seven teams are scheduled to compete in the event with Santa Clara the top-ranked squad at No. 111 according to the latest Golfweek.com rankings. Boise State (124), Sacramento State (127), Grand Canyon (132), Cal State Northridge (150), Seattle University (175) and Northern Colorado (209) round out the tournament field.
"A lot of the teams are playing really well in the fall, it's really anybody's tournament," said Bronco head coach Krystal Kelly. "It's going to be a matter of who can recover from the mistakes and who's going to take advantage of the opportunities out there."
The Broncos have taken advantage of opportunities presented to them this fall, posting a top-10 finish in each of their four tournaments, including a title at the 10-team Boise State Bronco Fall Invitational on Sept. 17 and a fourth place standing at the 12-team Washington State Cougar Cup on Sept. 24. They claimed a ninth place finish the last time out at the 20-team Wyoming Cowgirl Desert Intercollegiate on Oct. 13. "It's been exciting. We're off to probably the hottest start in program history," Kelly said of the team's play this fall. "The girls are just keeping it simple, focusing on the process and not worrying about the scores. I think for us that's made all the difference in the world."
Given the tournament field, the team's recent play and having a home course advantage, Kelly is excited about her team's chances of getting a second team title this fall. "We have a really good chance (to win)," she said at a recent practice on the Silver Creek course. "I'm pushing them a little harder this week in prep for the tournament because, obviously, it's always nice to win your own event. I think we have a really good shot. They're playing really well, they're playing smart and course management has improved so much since last year so I think we have a good chance."
The Broncos will ride the steady play of freshman Annie Freman into the Colby Invitational. She's been the team's top individual finisher in three of the four tournaments with three top-10 placements, including a runner-up finish to teammate Kaci McCartan at the Bronco Fall Invitational, and a tie for 11th place at last week's Cowgirl Desert Intercollegiate. She paces the team with a 74.50 stroke average.
Along with her first career individual title at the Bronco Fall Invitational, McCartan also has a top-10 finish at the Cougar Cup and ranks second on the team behind Freman in stroke average at 76.00.
All nine players on the roster will compete in the event, according to Kelly, with senior Brooke Stephens and junior Casey Briggs making their first tournament appearance of the season. Senior Taylor Camany, who has played in all four tournaments, won the individual title at the 2011 Colby Invitational shooting a 5-over 149. "That will definitely build the camaraderie," Kelly said of having all nine players compete.
"Their chemistry is amazing and they really believe they can play well and win and I think that's been the biggest transformation for our program," Kelly said about her 2013 squad.
The tournament is named in honor of Marygrace Colby, who was hired by Santa Clara University in 1963 "to direct and instruct young women in recreational and athletic pursuits." For years Marygrace selflessly and single-handedly coached ALL women's sports at Santa Clara. She will attend the tournament both days and be honored at a luncheon on Monday.
Name: SCU Colby Invitational
Dates (Site): Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 21-22 (San Jose, Calif.)
Host: Santa Clara University
Tournament Field* (7 teams): Santa Clara (111), CS Northridge (150), Sacramento State (127), Seattle (175), Northern Colorado (209), Boise State (124) and Grand Canyon (132).
Details: 36-hole event. Both days will begin with a shotgun start at 8:00 a.m. (PDT). The field will play one round of 18 holes on Monday and one final round of 18 holes on Tuesday
Course: Silver Creek Valley Country Club
Yardage/Par: 6,146 yards/Par 72
Course Number/Address: (408) 239-5888
5460 Country Club Pkwy, San Jose 95138
Results: GolfStat.com (following each round)