For the Oregon women’s golf team, hindsight is 20/20.
The No. 24 Ducks stand in second place after one round at the Executive Women’s Golf Association/ Lady Aztec Invitational in San Diego, three strokes behind tournament leader California.
However, if coach Renee Baumgartner had designated junior Dawn Berry a starter instead of an independent competitor, the Ducks would be within a stroke of first going into the final round.
Berry’s two-over-par 74 would have been Oregon’s second-best mark, but her independent status erased her score.
The Ducks are in position to win their second straight tournament, largely due to the effort of seniors Pam Sowden, in fourth place with a one-over 73, and Angie Rizzo, in ninth with a two-over 74.
Oregon senior Kylie Wilson, who won the Colby/Santa Clara Invitational a week ago, only shot a stroke worse than Rizzo but is in a tie for 16th place. Senior Anika Heuser and junior Jerilyn White find themselves tied for 22nd; both golfers shot four-over-par 76s.
“I’m pleased with our efforts,” Baumgartner said in a release. “We started the day really strong. Tomorrow, we need to finish strong.”
If national rankings and experience mean anything, the Ducks should be able to overcome their opposition in the final round. Tournament leader No. 32 California has not won since the Oregon Duck Invitational in September. No. 31 Baylor, the only other ranked team in the tournament, is eight strokes behind the Ducks.
The Ducks are coming off their first win of the spring, an impressive ten-stroke victory at the Colby/Santa Clara Invitational a week ago. A win at the Lady Aztec would give the Ducks their first back-to-back victories in more than two years.
Individually, Brigham Young’s Carrie Summerhays leads the Lady Aztec by two strokes over San Francisco’s Emilie Arnaud and Kent’s Heather Dobbin. Oregon’s Sowden is only a stroke behind Arnaud and Dobbin.
San Diego State’s tournament, being played at the Singing Hills will conclude today with an 18-hole round.