After their first tournament of the fall season, the San Diego State women’s golf team didn’t have a lot of positives they could take away from the event.
The Aztecs finished last out of 16 teams in the event; only one SDSU golfer carded a round under par and sophomore Anika Sato had to withdraw from the tournament after suffering an injury.
Flash forward to their last event, The Clash at Boulder Creek, the Aztecs finished in the top 10 for the first time in the season, placing eighth out of 19 teams.
- Freshman Emma Narita shot 5-under for the tournament, the lowest 54-hole score for SDSU since 2019. She placed 10th out of 102 golfers.
- Junior Anika Sato tied her career-low 18-hole score with a second-round 3-under par.
- Senior Andrea Gomez tied her career-low 18-hole score with a second-round 1-under par.
- All four Aztecs finished at even par or better in the second round.
SDSU’s top 10 finish was due in large part to Narita, whose 5-under 54-hole score was the lowest for a freshman since 2013.
Narita’s success came in part due to her approach shots into the green, which led to four birdies in her final round and one bogey over her last two rounds.
“I caught the green 18 out of 18 times, I think, in my last round,” Narita said. “So, honestly, I had more opportunities to make birdies.”
Narita, who is originally from Japan, also credits her teammates for her success by helping her on and off the course.
“Playing for SDSU is the first time I’ve played with teammates, because when I golfed in Japan, it was individual… now we can encourage each other through conversation, and I just build off of that,” Narita said. “My teammates were so kind to me, not only playing golf but also studying and giving advice.”
Entering the spring season, Narita and the Aztecs host their annual San Diego State Classic on Monday, which will be held at the Farms Golf Club in Rancho Santa Fe, California.
The 12-team field will consist of four teams that are currently ranked in the preseason top 30: No. 7 South Carolina, No. 10 Oregon, No. 21 Georgia and No. 23 Virginia.
Along with the competitive field, the Aztecs will also have to deal with the length of the course being a potential challenge.
“The Farms isn’t short, so I just need to take care and pay attention because even if I hit a long iron or a hybrid, I just need to focus on my aim,” said Narita.
Along with Narita, the Aztecs’ lineup will consist of Gomez, Sato, sophomore Stephanie Barbaglia, senior Anna Lina Otten and freshman Nikki Kato, who will be competing as an individual.
The tournament will also mark the beginning of qualifying for postseason play for the Aztecs, which gives the players something to look forward to.
“Now we all feel nervous to play because we want to travel and compete with other teams,” Narita said. “I think qualifying is good for us since it makes us focus on every single round since we will be competing seriously.”
The Aztecs will officially start their campaign towards a Mountain West Championship and postseason play on Monday when they tee it up at the San Diego State Classic at the Farms Golf Club.