Courtesy of Highlander Athletics
Courtesy of Highlander Athletics

The women’s golf team opened their 2013 season with a solid, inspired win at their inaugural home event played at the Oak Quarry Golf Club, just a few miles away from UCR’s campus. The Highlanders played strongly throughout, earning the highest team scores during the second and final rounds. UCR’s Brittani Ferraro nabbed the individual title with a seven-under-par 209.

After wrapping up last season near the middle of the pack in the Big West Conference (fourth place out of eight teams at Championship tournament), the home team was looking to start the season off in the right fashion, also known as winning. UC Riverside opened the first two rounds firing a score of 582 (290-292), which placed the team in first place for the opening day. They led California Baptist University by eight strokes (590) and Cal State Northridge (593) by 11.

The score of 290 beat the university’s previous record low of 295 for a round, a record that has been tied multiple times — most recently in the 2008-2009 season. The two-round score of 582 also set a new benchmark for the Highlander golf team, as the previous record was set at 598 for a 36-hole round during the 2007-2008 season. Two Riverside players finished in the top five at day’s end. Ferraro led the field firing a 138 (70-68) while teammate Savannah Vilaubi secured the fourth-best outing with a two-under-par 142 (68-74).

On the final day, the Highlanders held their nerve and secured the women’s golf program’s first tournament victory in five years since the Bronco Fall Invitational in 2008. The team shot a 298 for the final round, four strokes better than second-place Northridge (302). Ferraro cemented her status as the tournament’s top player as she finished the round tied for first place, firing a score of 71 for the third round. She became the first individual winner for the Highlanders since Amelia Ek won the Braveheart Classic in 2011.

Vilaubi secured a top five finish overall with a one-over par 217 (68-74-75) while Haley Wian finished in 11th with a 227 (75-73-79). Highlander Isabelle Shee fired a 231 (79-77-75) for the tournament. Paris Griffith rounded out the Riverside troop with a score of 239 (77-85-77).

UCR secured the top spot with a tally of 880 (290-292-298) through three rounds. The team was 15 strokes ahead of second-place California Baptist University (895) and Northridge (895). Western Kentucky (911) and Georgetown (912) rounded out the top five.

The Highlanders’ team mark of 880 shattered the previous program record of 904 for a 54-hole tournament. The win also marked the first victory for new head coach Brent Perkins.