BIG WEST NOTES (pdf)
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — The Cal Poly women's golf team, which has already won a golf tournament at Oak Quarry Golf Club in Riverside this season, hopes to do it again next week.
If the Mustangs accomplish that feat, it will be the first Big West Conference title in the 17-year history of the women's golf program.
After a practice round Saturday on the par 72, 6,141-yard course, players will tee off Sunday, Monday and Tuesday at 7:30 a.m. Awards will be presented during lunch Wednesday afternoon. Admission to the championship is free.
Coach Sofie Aagaard's Mustangs came close to earning the Big West team title a year ago, but UC Riverside overcame a three-stroke deficit for a four-shot victory at Kapalua Bay Golf Course on the island of Maui. It was the Highlanders' first Big West title, ending UC Davis' six-year reign.
This season, Cal Poly has won three tournaments — Hobble Creek Fall Classic, Battle at the Rock and, last week, the Bobcat Desert Invitational — and finished second in three other tournaments.
Bergland claimed her first collegiate individual title at the Bobcat Desert Invitational, setting a school record with her 54-hole 212 total and posting a pair of personal-best 70s.
Bergland is second on the team with her 75.2 scoring average, trailing Gillaspy by a tenth of a stroke. Binns averages 76.0 strokes per round, Muehlbauer 77.2 and Harada 77.4.
Gillaspy (pictured above), Bergland and Binns all have finished in the top 20 five times this season. Gillaspy, who has a second, third and fourth to her credit this season, has posted six rounds of par or better while Bergland and Binns have five each.
In last year's Big West finals, Gillaspy finished in a tie for sixth place, Bergland was in a tie for ninth and Harada was tied for 11th.
Paige Lee of UC Davis returns to defend her 2016 championship. Third-place finisher Izzy Leung of Long Beach State also returns. Highest Big West golfer in the Golfstat Cup rankings is Martina Edberg of Cal State Fullerton at No. 17, followed by Lee at No. 178.
Averaging 71.4 strokes per round, Edberg has won four tournaments this season and has earned six Big West Golfer of the Month awards in her career. She finished tied for 16th in last year's Big West Championship.
According to Golfstat.com, among Big West teams, UC Davis is ranked No. 85 in NCAA Division I, followed by Cal Poly at No. 91, UC Irvine at No. 102, Cal State Fullerton at 105, Hawai'i at No. 107, UC Riverside at No. 108, Long Beach State at No. 129 and CSUN at No. 163.
UC Irvine has five top-five finishes this season and is coming off a team title at the Wyoming Cowgirl Invitational.
The four NCAA regionals will be held May 8-10 at the University of New Mexico Championship Course in Albuquerque, N.M., Ironwood Golf and Country Club in Greenville, N.C., The Rawls Course in Lubbock, Texas, and Scarlet Course at Ohio State Golf Course in Columbus, Ohio.
The 2017 NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is scheduled for May 19-24 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.