Women’s Golf: Individuals unable to push Matadors to Big West crown


Andrew Martinez

The Matadors continued to play well on Tuesday, but it was not enough to overcome the defending champion UC Davis Aggies as CSUN finished the Big West Tournament in second place. Photo Courtesy of MCT

Despite having two Matadors in the top five, CSUN was unable to catch up to the victorious UC Davis Aggies in the final round of the Big West Championship Tuesday at the San Luis Obispo Country Club.

Senior Clariss Guce and redshirt freshman Cesilie Hagen finished within three strokes of each other, as Guce finished tied for first and Hagen tied for third.  Guce tied with Cal State Fullerton Titan Martina Edberg, as they both finished with 217 strokes for the tournament.  Coming into Tuesday, Guce had a three stroke lead over Edberg. But Guce stroked a 74 in round three while Edberg shot a 71 to push the individual tournament into a playoff. Edberg edged out Guce in the playoff to take the tournament title and deny her of her fourth win of the season.

Hagen finished with a three-round total of 220, finishing tied for third with Bev Vatananugulkit, the Aggies’ highest finisher of the tournament.  Despite having two players higher than UC Davis in the individual standings, the Aggies had four players in the top ten as they finished with a tournament-low total of 895, 16 strokes ahead of CSUN’s 911 total.

Freshman Ellen Brantberg and junior Sharon Shin finished tied 26th and 32nd, respectively.  Brantberg was tied for 19th after Monday, but shot an 83 on Tuesday and finished with a total of 239 strokes.  Shin improved in the final round of the season, shooting her best round of the tournament with a 79 and finishing with a total of 244 strokes.

Sophomore Arinda Bhanaraksa was tied for 19th with Brantberg after Monday, but did not play in round three.

The Aggies claimed their fifth-straight Big West Championship, despite shooting their tournament-worst round of 304 on Tuesday.  All UC Davis players shot worse in round three, but they were able to extend their lead on day two of the tournament.

CSUN was within reach of their first Big West Title since winning back-to-back titles in the 2003 and 2004 seasons.  This marks their best finish since finishing fifth in 2010 and third in 2008.  The Matadors made big strides in the 2013-14 season under first year head coach Gina Umeck, as they improved on last season’s seventh place finish in the Big West Championship at San Luis Obispo.

Guce finishes the season with a team-high eight top 10 finishes, while Hagen finishes with four top 10 finishes and a top 20 finish.  Hagen also finished third at the SCU Colby Classic in Santa Clara on October 22 of last year.

The Matadors’ second place finish is their third on the season.  CSUN finished second at the Birdies for Breast Cancer tournament in Riverside at the Oak Quarry Golf Club on September 10, and at the Cowgirl Wyoming Invitational in Wyoming on October 13.  The Matadors won the inaugural Matador Invitational at the Wood Ranch Golf Club in Simi Valley on Feb. 11.