Rino Sasaki of Washington captured the individual title by one stroke and led the Huskies to a six-stroke victory over Stanford in the Juli Inkster Meadow Club Invitational at the Meadow Club in Fairfax.
The Huskies claimed their first victory since the 2018 Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational by posting a score of 287-292-297—876, 12-under-par, followed by Stanford at 295-300-287—882, San Diego State at 296-306-290—892, San Jose State at 296-301-300—897, and Brigham Young at 291-302-307—900.
“That was not lost on me, I for sure knew the situation,” Washington Coach Mary Lou Mulflur said of the Huskies winning for the first time in three years in their first event since the remainder of the 2020 season was canceled because of the Coronavirus pandemic. “It’s hard to believe it’s been a year. I never dreamed it would take so long to get back and I don’t think most people, when they left that golf course, thought anything along those lines.
“But it was fun. It’s a great venue and a really good test of golf. Conditions were not too bad today—a little cold and windy—but overall, not bad. We hadn’t won in a while, so it’s always a good feeling.
“It was just a total team effort. … Everybody contributed and that’s fun to see.”
Sacramento State was sixth at 297-302-303—902, followed by Fresno State at 298-306-304—908, California at 295-308-307—910, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo at 304-311-300—915, and San Francisco at 315-311-299—925.
Pepperdine was 11th at 306-308-312—926, followed by UC Davis at 309-312-307—928.
Sasaki, a senior from Japan, birdied the 17th hole and survived a bogey on the last to earn her second college victory with a score of 68-77-71—216, even-par, despite a triple-bogey to start her second round.
“(Sasaki has) just really matured as a player and a person,” Mulfur said. “She has gotten better at not letting things interfere with her performance and just letting go. She’s gotten so much better at that, and it really shows.”
Antonia Malate of San Jose State posted a score of 72-73-72—217 to tie for second with her Spartans teammate Kajsa Arwefjall, who shot 73-72- 73—218, Bernice Ilas of San Diego State, who finished at 72-73-73—218, Jennifer Koga of Sacramento State, who wound up at 70-75-73—218, and Stefanie Deng of Washington, who totaled 74-68-76—218.
Martha Lewis of Washington was seventh at 73-73-73—219, followed by Sadie Englemann of Stanford at 75-76-69—220, while Sara Kjellker of San Diego State shot 70-79-72—221 to tie for ninth with Aline Krauter of Stanford, who came in at 75-77-69—221.
Joan Soewondo led USF with a score of 77-74-72—223 to finish in a tie for 15th that included Fresno State teammates Jessica Hall, who wound up at 76-74-73—223, and Brigitte Thibault, who totaled 74-75-74—223, while Nicole Neale of Cal Poly SLO tied for 18th at 80-74-70—224.
Madison Wood of UC Davis carded a score of 78-78-72—228 to wind up in a tie for 26th that included her Aggies teammate, Jackie Lucena, who shot 78-76-74—228, while Cristina Ochoa of Cal finished at 72-83-75—230 to wind up in a tie for 32nd that included her Bears teammate Katherine Zhu, who came in at 73-74-83—230.
Juli Inkster, a seven-time major champion on the LPGA Tour, was a three-time All-American at San Jose State, which co-hosts the tournament with USF.
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