RANCHO SANTE FE, Calif. — The Sacramento State women's golf team fought past its most difficult round of the season and ended the day with one of its most impressive performances during the first day of the Lamkin Invitational.
The Hornets shot 316 in the first round of stroke play, leaving the team in eighth place and earning the final qualifying spot into the eight-team match play tournament. Once there, Sacramento State topped 31st-ranked Pepperdine, 3.5-1.5, to advance to the semifinals on Tuesday.
In the opening round, the Hornets finished at 28-over for its highest score of the year. Corinne Viden led the team with a 5-over par round of 77. Viden started on the par-4 11th hole with a bogey and moved to 4-over par before a birdie on the par-5 18th. The sophomore had three bogeys on the front side of course but ended with a birdie on the par-4 10th.
Sydney Smith and Julia Becker each shot 79 to rank second on the team. Smith had a birdie on the par-5 third along with six bogeys and a double bogey. Becker birdied the par-4 seventh and also had four bogeys and a pair of double bogeys.
Nishtha Madan completed the team score with a round of 81. Madan started with three straight bogeys and was 4-over through her first five holes. She birdied No. 18 but was 5-over on the front nine.
Sacramento State's performance left the team in eighth place, two strokes behind Cal and two ahead of Central Arkansas. Pepperdine had the lowest score among the 12 teams in the opening round, totaling 298 to finish at 10-over. The Waves were led by Momoka Kobori who was even.
Once in match play, the Hornets took a quick lead and never looked back against Pepperdine. Viden led off with a 2&1 win over Patricia Wong. Viden won the first hole (No. 2) and stretched her lead to 3-up through seven holes after pars on Nos. 7 and 8. After Wong won with a birdie on the par-5 ninth, Viden answered with a par on No. 10 to return to 3-up. Wong rallied late in the round with bars on Nos. 15 and 16 compared to bogeys from Viden to pull within 1-up. Viden ended the match by capturing the 17th hole with a par and then halved the 18th.
Becker fell behind on her first hole against Hira Naveed but took her first lead three holes later and won 4&3. The senior had three birdies during her round including the par-5 ninth which gave her a 2-up lead. After the pair halved the next four holes with pars by both, Becker birdied the par-3 14th to push her lead to 3-up. She clinched the match with a par on the 16th to beat Naveed's bogey.
Sydney Smith guaranteed the win for Sacramento State with a 3&2 win over Hannah Haythorne. The pair started on the first hole and Haythone dominated the front nine, taking a 2-up lead after eight holes. Smith began her comeback with a birdie on the par-5 ninth and drew even after a par on No. 11 where Haythorne had a double bogey. Smith then swung momentum with wins on three straight holes. The freshman parred the the par-3 14th, birdied the par-4 15th and parred the par-3 16th.
Nishtha Madan havled her match with Momoka Kobori. The pair exchanged leads four times with Kobori eventually going 2-up after a birdie on the par-4 11th. Madan, however, answered with a birdie on the par-3 14th, tied the match with a pair on No. 16 and took a lead with another par on No. 17. Kobori gained a half point for the Waves with a par on No. 1 after Madan bogeyed.
Pepperdine's lone win came from Kathrine Chan who downed Sofie Babic 3&2. Babic had control early with a win on No. 3 and a birdie on the par-4 sixth to go 2-up. She maintained that advantage until dropping the 10th hole. Chan took her first lead with a par on No. 15 and ended the contest with a par on No. 16.
The victory for the Hornets will give the team a date with No. 6 Vanderbilt on Tuesday. The Commodores cruised to a 5-0 win over Texas Tech in the first round of match play.
The Farms GC | Rancho Sante Fe, Calif.
First Round Match Play
Sacramento State def. Pepperdine, 3.5-1.5
Vanderbilt def. Texas Tech, 5-0
California def. San Jose State, 3-2
San Diego State def. UC Irvine, 5-0
Round Robin Bracket
UC Davis def. Central Arkansas, 3-2
Augusta def. Portland State, 4-1
Stroke Play Round
1. Pepperdine 298
2. San Jose State 300
3. San Diego State 301
4. Texas Tech 304
T5. UC Irvine 313
T5. Vanderbilt 313
7. California 314
8. Sacramento State 316
9. Central Arkansas 318
10. Augusta 323
T11. Portland State 328
T11. UC Davis 328