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Cal Poly Captures Third Title of Season; Bergland and Gillaspy Finish 1-2

Cal Poly Captures Third Title of Season; Bergland and Gillaspy Finish 1-2


GOODYEAR, Arizona — Sophie Bergland carded another 70 to earn medalist honors for the first time in her collegiate career and lead the Cal Poly women's golf team to a first-place finish in the Bobcat Desert Invitational hosted by Montana State on Tuesday at the Golf Club of Estrella.

Bergland, a junior from Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., finished with a four-under-par 212 total, a personal best for 54 holes by eight shots and a new school record. Taylor Yoshitake posted a 213 total at the Wyoming Cowgirl Desert Intercollegiate in October 2013 at Palm Desert, Calif.

Mustang teammate Desiree Gillaspy finished in a tie for second place with Tara Finigan of Portland State, both with two-over-par 218 totals on the 6,277-yard, par-72 course. Gillaspy shot a final-round 75 while Finigan checked in with a 72.

As a team, Cal Poly posted a final-round four-person 297 total for a 14-over-par 878 aggregate, 15 shots ahead of Portland State. Southern Utah was third at 906. The Mustangs' final total, posting three rounds under 300 for the second straight tournament, is nine shots better than the school record of 878 set at the Wyoming Cowgirl Desert Intercollegiate last fall.

"What a great way for this team to kick off the last part of the season with a win in Arizona," said second-year Mustang head coach Sofie Aagaard. "Consistent and under-par play from Sophie got her the first individual win of her college career. Desiree in a tie for second for the second time this spring season is also to be mentioned."

Temperatures were in the mid-80s throughout the tournament with light winds and humidity under 10 percent.

Bergland (pictured at left with Aagaard) is Cal Poly's first individual champion since Yoshitake at the Wyoming Cowgirl Desert Intercollegiate more than three years ago. The team victory is the third this season for the Mustangs, who claimed the Hobble Creek Fall Classic in Springville, Utah, in September and the Battle at the Rock hosted by UC Riverside in February.

The Mustangs also won the Bobcat Desert Classic in 2007.

In equalling her personal best set on Monday, Bergland carded five birdies and three bogeys en route to the six-shot victory. She led the field with 12 birdies over 54 holes of play.

Gillaspy, a St. Joseph High School graduate from Santa Maria, carded one birdie and four bogeys Tuesday. Her 218 total bested her personal record for 54 holes by five shots.

Cal Poly's other three golfers also finished in the top 30.

Jamie Harada posted a final-round 74 for a 224 total and a tie for 11th place while Jamie Binns carded a 78 for a 228 total and a 21st-place tie. Mallory Muehlbauer checked in with an 83 for a 232 total and 27th-place tie.

Competing as an individual, Meridith Hirsch carded a final-round 77 for a 239 total and 42nd-place tie. There were 14 schools and 77 golfers in the two-day event.

"I'm very proud of how everyone carried themselves in the heat, competing to the end," Aagaard said. "Next up is of course the conference championship at Riverside in a week and a half. This win brings some confidence in both the team and individual scoring going into the postseason."

Cal Poly seeks its first Big West Conference team title April 23-25 at the Oak Quarry Country Club, the same course used for the Battle at the Rock. Last year, the Mustangs finished second in the Big West finals, their best finish ever in the conference championship, seven strokes behind UC Riverside.