Welp, I was wrong. Like really wrong. The Women’s Golf Team did not show themselves to be an elite program this past weekend.
After two rounds, they were DFL , 42 shots off the lead, and three shots from the next spot up. They bounced back to finish T-15, 57 shots off the lead, and 14 shots from the next spot up. Interestingly, the top four players all shot 227. That’s not good, but that’s also crazy impressive.
How did this happen??? Most likely the wild weather in Palos Verdes Estates- a wind advisory was in effect. That means at minimum 31 mph sustained. Yikes! Some teams struggled as well, but the elite teams played at or under par. This weekend elucidates an important dynamic on this team.
They don’t have any margin for error. If Auston Kim and Abbey Carlson don’t anchor (pun intended!) this team with low scores, the next three players are not good enough to make up for it. However, if Kim and Carlson do shoot their scoring average, between 70-71, then two scores each day can be found between the next three players.
Here’s what I mean. Carlson shot 83 on the first day, 12 shots off her scoring average. If all three other scores remained the same, the Dores would have shot 292 on the first day, good enough for T-6 instead of T-15.
To continue the example, Carlson came back with a 71 in the second round while the rest of the team regressed. Kim shot 79, Louise Yu shot 77 and Morgan Baxendale shot 79.
Yu and Baxendale are have scoring averages of 72 and 73, respectively. They don’t typically have the fire power to go low, so if they play withing two shots of average, the team can manage. But if they fire their second round scores, there is no coming back.
And that’s the long and short of this season for the Commodores. There is very little margin for error. They have to hit on all cylinders if they want to contend.
One bright spot was Jayna Choi’s second round. After shooting 83 in the first round, she came back with a 75. That’s moxy, and frankly she showed herself to be the second best Commodore on that day, and the it was the second best score of the five. That’s promising.
The Commodores will leave the West Coast for the Third Coast and have almost a month before heading over to South Carolina for the Darius Rucker in March.