The Long Beach State women’s golf team raised its first trophy in over two years after winning at the UC Irvine Invitational Tuesday.
“I feel like the team woke up this morning with a mentality like, ‘This is ours today,’” head coach Joey Cerulle said. “Being in the position to win this week and then going out and finishing is what we’ve been waiting for.”
After placing 5th, 12th and 9th this season, the team has made it a point of focus to close out tournaments when in a position to win.
“We’ve seen results and signs that have led us to believe that we would be able to win this year,” Cerulle said.
The 49ers fared best at Santa Ana Country Club, which includes two 18-hole, par-72 tracks. Course one plays 6,129 yards and averaged 76.73 strokes in rounds one and two while the second course is 6,072 yards and played five strokes over par.
Long Beach’s “B” team finished fifth at 31-over par 895 thanks to sophomore Euna Pak placing third in the individual competition. Her 5-under 211 three-round score was only four shots off the winning number by Colorado State’s Katrina Prendergast.
“Give [Pak] credit after her career-best finish,” Cerulle said. “It’s always tough to pick the lineups for each team but if we had her on the winning team, we would have won by at least 20 strokes.”
Barker shot the only third round score in the 60’s (69) in the 71-player field and jumped 10 spots on Tuesday, resulting in a fourth place finish which is the lowest of her collegiate career as well.
“I had no idea I was the only score that low today,” Barker said. “I wasn’t worrying about results, I was just hyperfocused on the process and also had some really good par saves that helped my confidence.”
Tygret was tied for sixth at 2-over par 218 thanks to a 71 in the second round on Monday evening. It is her second time in the top 10 this season, including her performance in the opening event of the fall campaign.
Having three players in the top-10 played a major role in Long Beach’s streak of four events in which a Big West opponent has not finished with a better score.
“Our team really showed how deep we are this week,” Barker said. “All 10 of us played solid and fed off of each other to be successful today.”
Long Beach State will have a three month break before pursuing their second victory.
“This win is a testament to the hard work and dedication they have put in so far,” Cerulle said. “Not only that, it shows how dedicated they are to the changes we’ve implemented to the program this semester and that can only help us heading into spring.”