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Cal Poly Captures UC Irvine Invite for 23rd Title in Program History

Cal Poly Captures UC Irvine Invite for 23rd Title in Program History
SANTA ANA, Calif. — Ahead by 12 strokes entering the final round of the UC Irvine Invitational, the Cal Poly women's golf team, led by individual winner Caroline Cantlay, earned a four-shot victory over Santa Clara on Tuesday at the Santa Ana Country Club.
Though Coach Sofie Aagaard's Mustangs, who posted a 282 and 280 on Monday for new school records for 18 and 36 holes, carded a final-round four-person 297 Tuesday, the score was good enough for a 54-hole record 859 total and the program's first victory since the 2017-18 season opener and 23rd team title overall.
Old record of 871 was set in the Rose City Collegiate hosted by Portland State on Sept. 25-26, 2017.
Santa Clara shaved nine strokes off Cal Poly's 36-hole lead with a final-round 288, finishing at one-under-par 863 on the 6,072-yard, par-72 course. Cal Baptist, which entered the final round tied with Santa Clara for second place, finished with a 290 for a one-over-par 865 aggregate and third place.
"What a day. What a tournament. Today was a new day and the putts that dropped yesterday, and the good bounces we had in the first two rounds didn't carry over to the third round today," said Aagaard. 
"It was a tough start and lots of grinding while seeing Santa Clara make birdies left and right," Aagaard added. "This team battled on the back nine and finished strong with birdies on the last hole to take home the win."
Cantlay (pictured at left) followed her rounds of 68 and 70 Monday with another 68 Tuesday for a 10-under-par  206 total and a three-stroke victory over Cameron Lee of San Diego State and Erica Wang of Cal Baptist.
For Cantlay, a sophomore from Los Alamitos, Calif., and a graduate of Rosary Academy, she shattered her previous best for 54 holes by 18 strokes and eclipsed the school's individual record for 54 holes by six shots. Sophie Bergland carded a 212 total at the Bobcat Desert Invitational in Goodyear, Ariz., in April 2017. 
"Caroline played lights out on the back nine and took home her first individual title," said Aagaard. 
Vanessa Wang finished in a tie for fifth place with rounds of 71, 68 and 74 for a 213 total while Mallory Muehlbauer also earned a top-20 finish, sharing 20th place with two other golfers at four over par 220.
Cal Poly's other two scoring golfers were Elizabeth Scholtes with a final-round 76 for a 224 total and 34th-place tie and Tiffany Cha with a 79 for a 227 total and 47th place.
Competing as an individual, Sienna Scibird posted an 81 for a 233 total and 57th-place tie.
Wang was seconds in par-3 scoring at two under par while Cantlay and Muehlbauer were sixth at one under par. Cantlay also was second in par-4 scoring at four under par and tied for first in par-5 scoring at five under par.
Cantlay also led the field with 15 birdies and Wang was second with 14.
For her 54 holes of play, Cantlay carded 15 birdies and five bogeys. In the final round Tuesday, she posted six birdies and two bogeys for her round of 68. Cantlay is the first Mustang to claim top individual honors in a tournament since Bergland at the Bobcat Desert Invitational in April 2017 and she is the 12th winner in program history.
"We set new 18-, 36- and 54-hole team records, and new 36- and 54-hole individual records," Aagaard added. "This was an exciting way to finish the fall season and a great way to fuel us for offseason practice this winter. 
"This team has put in great effort and energy throughout this fall and we are looking forward to continuing this season in February."
First tournament in the spring for the Mustangs will be Feb. 11-12 in the Battle at The Rock, to be contested at the Oak Quarry Golf Course in Riverside, Calif.