Lauren Rabaino

Though the wind was blowing and conditions were not ideal, the Cal Poly women’s golf team finished on top Tuesday at the third annual Lady Braveheart Challenge at the Oak Valley Golf Course in Beaumont.

It was the ninth tournament victory for the women’s golf team since the program was launched eight years ago.

“They all played really well in the windy conditions,” said Cal Poly head coach Scott Cartwright. “Looking at the scores, very few people broke 80 and we had three of them on our team. We’re used to playing in the wind and we had a good plan to take on the course in those conditions.”

Led by individual winner Stephanie Yocum, the Mustangs achieved a 53-over-par 629 aggregate score in the two-day, 36-hole competition. They beat San Diego State by 16 strokes.

Yocum, a sophomore, matched her career best for 36 holes and won by a single stroke, earning her first collegiate title with a two-day total of 151 that she has accomplished only twice before.

Her win edged out both Kaitlin Troop of British Columbia and Adriana Niclotti of Cal Baptist. Troop and Niclotti had been individual co-leaders after shooting 72s in Monday’s 18 holes of play.

Also finishing in the top ten for Cal Poly was junior Julia Heath with a 156 total that earned her fifth place. Junior Hannah Brabb placed 13th with a 161 total after a top-10 finish in the first round.

“It was kind of rough because of the wind, and the greens weren’t really receptive,” Brabb said, “but I think the girls did really well given the difficult conditions.”

Sophomore Maddy Fletcher carded a 165 and junior Elsie Walker a 173, respectively, to complete Cal Poly’s scoring.

San Diego State, which won the tournament the past two years, finished with a 645 aggregate score. The Aztecs were led by freshman Stephanie Arcala, who tied for 10th with a 160 total.

UC Riverside, the defending Big West Conference champion, hosted the two-day event and placed fifth. Sophomore Michelle Mannix paced the Highlanders by coming in 13th, with a total of 161.

The Mustangs will compete again on March 9 in a dual match against Cal State Bakersfield on Hunter Ranch Golf Course in Paso Robles.

Cartwright is confident in the team for the upcoming contest, but feels there is definitely room to improve.

“There is always, always something to work on,” he said. “We need to get better at distance control, chipping and putting, and really just staying in there and doing well in competition.”

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