In an 18-team stadium, the Matadors’ performance finished ninth. The team improved by three points from the last time they visited this course in Utah.
“There is definitely enough potential and talent within our group to score,” coach Michelle Winkler said when discussing where the Matadors could go this season. “We just need to reduce our mental errors.”
Some notable departures from last year’s team include Julia Johansson and Kiran Sangha, averaging 78.04 and 79.76 strokes, respectively. To replace their production, freshmen Gracie Piar and Kim Turgut joined the team with round-trip scores of 76.3 and 79 hits, respectively.
Turgut made her debut on Monday with a three-bird, but fell a bit off the hook on Tuesday, with an 86 on 71 and tied for 61. Piar had room for improvement after a shaky display in the first two rounds. Her subpar performance was erased in the third round on Tuesday, as she scored 69 points on 71 points, an impressive turnaround given her sluggish start as she advanced to a tie in 26th place.
Senior Grace Pettis also climbed, averaging 79 strokes and notching five birdies. After the opening round in which she reached a level 6 above, she continued her strong play in the second round with a bonus of 7 above, collecting a bird to take off. The third round became tough to beat as her performance was a par 11. She eventually tied her teammate Turgut to 61st.
2nd overall player Fernanda Sosa Stackpool had a slow start in the first round, taking 9 bonus points and a birdie. However, the second round proved to be this team’s bread and butter as Stackpole, like her teammates, improved her shot by an average of 4 over. It will also capture four birds in the second round. In contrast, in the third round, I only tripped and hit two birds by fives. This was a solid outing for Stackpole, averaging 77 strokes and finishing in a tie for 34th.
Student Julia Miklipst also slowly started the tournament. The team’s fourth-highest goal scorer last year, had a little outing in the opening round with a memorable bonus of 15 more, but after becoming more fit for the course, she turned it in the second round with a 4-over. And three birds to boot. Round three was a far cry from its first round performance, but still below par as it rallied to get 8 more. This placed her at number 73 with an 80 hit average.
As a team, the Matadors improved on last year’s Hobble Creek Fall Classic performance. In 2021, it was over 76 strokes above par in total, fitting for a twelfth place finish. This year, the team improved to ninth with 66 strokes above par. The team’s overall showing may be attributed to the latest additions to the group, Piar and Turgut, but also to the strong performances of Bettis, Myklebust and Stackpole.
Winkler had a few words to say about the team’s overall expectations.
“I would expect us to be in the first third of every tournament and increase our golf IQ all season,” she said.
The CSUN women’s golf team will be traveling to Colorado for the Col. Wallenberg Ptarmigan Ram Classic from September 26-27.