Women's golf bounces back at Pac-12 Tournament; Unlikely to catch UCLA
Arizona golfer Krystal Quihuis swings at the Women's Golf PAC-12 Championship at Sewailo Golf Course on April 24.
After two days of the Pac-12 Women’s Golf Championship, No. 13 Arizona is in fourth place heading into the final day of competition.
No. 5 UCLA leads the tournament with a -1 after shooting three under Tuesday. Arizona shot 22 over after two days of work, good for a combined total of 598, 23 shots behind the Bruins
This year, Arizona hosts the conference championship, with Sewailo Golf Club as the site of the match.
“We placed better, however, it is still not good enough, but we made progress,” said Arizona head coach Laura Ianello. “Hopefully we can keep up momentum. ... We’re not chasing UCLA; let’s just go out and post a good score; let’s just take care of Arizona.”
Southern California is the defending Pac-12 champion after last year’s win at Ruby Hill Golf Club in Pleasanton, California. The Trojans aren’t likely to repeat as champions after shooting 31 over, including a 15 over at the end of Tuesday.
The Wildcats ended day one in fifth place but moved up one spot thanks to solid performances from Haley Moore and Krystal Quihuis. Moore shot three under Tuesday after a slow start Monday and has given herself a puncher’s chance at the individual title at 10 strokes behind leader Lilia Vu from UCLA, who is currently at seven under for the tournament.
“Haley would have to go really deep to catch Lilia [Vu],” Ianello said. “The fact [Vu] is seven under through these crazy conditions tells you how good she is.”
Vu is four shots ahead of teammate Bethany Wu and five ahead of Andrea Lee from Stanford. The three appear to be in the best position to secure the individual championship, but with inconsistent winds, that isn’t a certainty.
“The wind has been rough to deal with for sure,” Ianello said. “Usually in the morning the wind is pretty calm, so I thought we could make up some ground today. But at eight this morning, it was howling; it has been awful.”
Krystal Quihuis had been battling an illness leading up the tourney but is second for Arizona and 11th in the tourney with a 148.
Wanasa Zhou is coming off a tendinitis injury and has shot a 160 so far, placing her 48th out of 55 golfers. After winning the Mountain View Collegiate last month shooting a 13 under, Zhou couldn’t keep the momentum going and has struggled to find accuracy during the first two days.
“I don’t think the injury is a factor; she is not injured anymore,” Ianello said. “She is just not swinging the club her best, but she’s battling.”
With a 20-stroke deficit separating Arizona from first-place UCLA, it is unlikely the Wildcats will overtake the Bruins in one day.
Tee time for the final round is 8 a.m. with the teams teeing off first to be determined.
For stats and live updates, results.golfstat.com has score updates for the conference championships with scores of the first two days.
After this, the Wildcats prepare for NCAA regionals starting on May 8 and lasting until May 10.