No. 10 Cal Tees Off in First Action of the Spring

Photo: <b>Junior Pia Halbig</b> will likely be Cal's top individual golfer this spring. Halbig enters the 2010 season ranked 28th in the nation.
David Herschorn/File
Junior Pia Halbig will likely be Cal's top individual golfer this spring. Halbig enters the 2010 season ranked 28th in the nation.

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The Cal women's golf team begins its season-opening three-day tournament in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge today.

Cal will compete with 14 other teams - among them Arizona State, Colorado, Denver, Duke, Florida, Louisville, UCLA, USC and Wake Forest-at the 5,912-yard Palos Verdes Golf Club.

The team has set a high standard for itself after finishing seventh out of 17 teams in last season's Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge. Pia Halbig and Shannon Yocum were both top performers for the Cal squad last year, each posting a score of 22-over on the par-71 course.

Although Halbig is a returning junior and will compete again, last year was Yocum's final season at Cal.

The expected lineup for this year's tournament is sophomore Joanne Lee, sophomore Daniela Holmqvist, sophomore Emily Childs, junior Pia Halbig and freshman Jackie Williams.

Halbig enters the season ranked 28th individually and Lee enters the season ranked 44th individually.

The newest addition to the team, Holmqvist, just transferred from Tulane where she was last season's Conference USA Golfer of the Year and was named a member of the Conference USA first team.

"I think that Daniela is a great fit for Cal," coach Nancy McDaniel said in a statement to "She has really proven herself at Tulane, that she can perform at a very high level both academically and on the golf course."

The Bears finished fourth out of 17 in the Turtle Bay Resort College Invitational, the closing tournament of the fall schedule. After being as high as second through the first two days, Cal stumbled in the final round to fall to fourth.

"It was a very disappointing final round for us," McDaniel said.. "We got off to a rocky start and never recovered.

"We did have four rounds under par, so that was encouraging. It gives us a lot of hope for the spring season."

GolfWeek currently ranks Cal at No. 10 nationwide.


Contact Byron Atashian at [email protected]

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