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The Orion

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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Women’s golf falls short of playoffs, prepares for next season

Abbey McGrew, a sophomore kinesiology major, takes a swing in a tournament earlier this year. The Wildcats had a strong spring season despite working with a roster of only five players. Photo courtesy of Abbey McGrew

The Chico State women’s golf team was looking to make it to two NCAA Super Regionals in two years, but fell short after losing to Sonoma State.

The Wildcats couldn’t crack the 36-team bracket that is headed to the NCAA Super Regionals, but the season ushered in many positives, said Nick Green, head coach.

“We shot our lowest three-round total ever as a team, 899, and we had back-to-back 297 rounds, which has never been done before,” Green said.

During the second half of the Wildcats’ season, adversity hit and they only had five remaining players on the team, but were still in the thick of things, Green said.

Individually, several of the players had their averages drop by three strokes this season, Green said.

Abbey McGrew, a sophomore kinesiology major and second-year golfer for Chico State, agreed with her coach and felt that she had improved this season.

“For the most part, I was consistent and comfortable with my game,” McGrew said.

Even though the team’s run didn’t end in the postseason, McGrew felt that it wasn’t a season to be ashamed of, she said.

“As a team, we all improved and grew a lot as a team,” she said.

With every positive, there are negatives. The biggest negative this season for the Wildcats was dropping from seven players to five halfway through the season.

“We have always needed a little bit of a deeper roster,” Green said. “I want to have this team be seven to 10 players.”

Heading into the fall season, the women’s golf team is in good shape because four out of five players on the roster will be returning. Senior Spencer Downey is the only Wildcat on the team that will not be returning and is graduating with a degree in animal science.

“It’s invaluable experience when you play and get a year older,” Green said. “Starting the year, we will have five upperclassmen and two freshmen.”

Dani O’Keefe is a key returner among those upperclassmen that will be back. Throughout the season, she was Chico State’s best individual golfer. O’Keefe earned four top-10 finishes and averaged the team’s best strokes per round at 76.6.

One of the biggest accomplishments for the ‘Cats this season was how they all got to know each other and support each other, Green said.

“Going forward,” Green said. “It’s going to be something that helps them a lot.”

Matthew Vislosky can be reached at [email protected] or @MattVislosky on Twitter.

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