Entering the final round three-strokes back in second place, UC Riverside fired a blistering, third-round score of 296, a tournament low, to overtake Cal Poly to claim the 2016 Big West Women’s Golf Championship team title at The Bay Course in Kapalua, Hawai’i. The Highlanders’ efforts earned the program its first-ever women’s golf conference title while dethroning UC Davis, who won the previous six championships, in the process.
Cal Poly finished in second place with a three-day total of 918 and was followed by the Aggies of UC Davis, who carded 921. Claiming the fourth spot with a 54-hole total of 923 was Long Beach State, while host Hawai’i, who shot its best round on day three with a 302 score, was two strokes back in fifth. CSUN secured the sixth spot at 946 and Cal State Fullerton finished seventh after firing 954. UC Irvine rounded out the eight-team field with a mark of 981.
Fueled by a final round score of 1-under 71, the 2015 Big West Women’s Golf Player of the Year, Paige Lee from UC Davis, nabbed individual medalist honors after firing a 4-over 220. Lee, who is the sixth Aggie in seven years to earn the top award, is one of only three players to card an under-par round in the three-day event. Long Beach State’s Kassidy Teare finished one stroke back in second place and Hawai’i’s Isabella Leung nabbed third place with a total of 225.
Paris Griffith garnered the highest finish for the Highlanders, securing fourth place with a three-day total of 226, and Aggie Andrea Wong locked in the fifth slot after tallying 227.
With the win, the Highlanders advance to the NCAA Division I Women’s Regionals which are held at four sites this year from May 5-7. This year’s regional sites include Stanford Golf Course in Palo Alto, Calif.; Traditions Club in Bryan, Texas; University Club in Baton Rouge, La.; Shoal Creek at Shoal Creek, Ala. The six-day NCAA Women’s Golf Championship is scheduled for May 20-25 at Eugene Country Club in Eugene, Ore.
UC Riverside will learn its destination on Monday, April 25 when the NCAA reveals the complete field for the 2016 NCAA Division I Women’s Regionals at 3:00 p.m. (Pacific) on the Golf Channel.