Mendoza finishes fourth, Banana Slugs end up in third in season opener

Freshman Gillian "G" Mendoza led UCSC's golfers in her debut tournament
Freshman Gillian "G" Mendoza led UCSC's golfers in her debut tournament

SEGUIN, TEXAS -

Led by Gillian Mendoza's 4th place finish, UC Santa Cruz placed third at the 2019 Lady Bulldog Invitational at the Starcke Golf Club in Seguin, Texas.

It was UCSC's best finish in the last four years at their traditional season opener in South Texas, and the Banana Slugs' highest tournament finish since they won their Spring Invite in 2013.

Mendoza, a freshman making her college debut, shot a 9-over 153 (77-76) over the two days. Her 76 with one birdie on Monday was the second-lowest round of the day by any golfer.

Mara Anunciacion shot a 17-over 161 (78-83) to finish 14th. Claire Oetinger was 16th with a 22-over 166 (80-86) and Riley Burch shot 174 (87-87) to finish tied for 27th.

Dana Bryant rounded out the UCSC contingent in 30th, taking six shots off her first day score to finish with a 176 (91-85).

Southwestern University won the team title with a total of 616 strokes, 16 strokes better than UT-Dallas and 36 better than the Banana Slugs.

"We beat some very highly ranked teams in our Conference, including number one ranked Mary Hardin Baylor," said head coach Paulette Pera. "We have a very young team and were a little shaky down the stretch, but the team is loaded with talent. It will be fun."

The team returns to California for their next two tournaments, starting with the California Intercollegiate in Ventura next Monday and Tuesday.