INDIO, Calif. – The Whittier College Women's Golf team took part in the OGIO Bulldog Classic for the first time earlier this week and faced a field of seventeen programs, seven of which were nationally ranked.
Whittier took on Indian Springs Golf Club, a Par 72 course, playing 5,828 yards. Over the two days, the Purple & Gold posted a two round total of 660, while battling tough windy conditions.
The Poets, who are currently ranked No. 39 in the Division III National Polls were able to hold off No. 42 Hardin-Simmons (662) and the University of Redlands (676). They also finished atop Chapman University (660), Oregon Tech (662), Northwest Nazarene (662), Hope International (682), Ottawa University (710), and Willamette (734).
But their biggest win over the two days came against No. 8 Berry College, who finished with a 663. Whittier battled and was close to moving up further in the standings as they fell to Corban University (658) and Victoria (B.C.) (640).
Embry Riddle (AZ) won the Classic with a 608 and was followed by No. 2 Claremont-M-S (616), No. 5 Methodist University (628), No. 19 Pomona-Pitzer (637), and No. 37 Cal Lutheran (638).
Freshman Kamryn Marie Garcia (La Mirada, Calif.) led the Purple & Gold with an 80-79, collecting three birdies over the two days to finish in a tie for 22nd. Whittier's No. 1 Kajal Vitha (Whittier, Calif.) was the next finisher with an 83-83, placing her in a tie for 44th. Sophomore Taylor Beckwith (Turlock, Calif.) was the third to come in with an unconventional 81-86 that put her 46th. Senior Ciara Clark (Henderson, NV) was consistent over the two days with an 85-85 putting her in 56th, while Madison Crimi-Demichele (San Jose, Calif.) posted an 87-84 for 59th.
In the individual rankings, Vitha sits at No. 53 in the Division III National Polls and Beckwith at No. 51.
Whittier begins preparations for SCIAC No. 2, set to take place on Saturday and Sunday, April 7-8 in Pasadena, Calif. at Brookside Golf Club.