California Bound

Women's golf opens spring campaign against loaded field in Southern California

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The nationally-ranked Vanderbilt women’s golf team kicks off its spring season this weekend against a loaded field at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge in California.

The Commodores will face nine of the nation’s top-10 ranked teams at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge, a three-day tournament opening Sunday at Palos Verdes Golf Club near Los Angeles.

The Vanderbilt lineup features senior Abbey Carlson, juniors Morgan Baxendale and Louise Yu, sophomore Auston Kim and freshman Jayna Choi.

This marks Vanderbilt’s first appearance at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge. It’s also the Commodores’ first visit to California since last March when they captured the Lamkin Invitational in Rancho Santa Fe.

Vanderbilt head coach Greg Allen is eager to see his Commodores back in competition.

“We are all ready to get back out there to play in tournaments,” he said. “The girls have worked extremely hard since we’ve been back from (holiday) break and I know they are excited to carry the Vandy golf bag again.”

Strongest Field of the Year Awaits

The Commodores will be part of arguably the strongest field of the year in women’s collegiate golf at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge. The 16-team field includes the four match-play semifinalists at the 2019 NCAA Championships – Duke, Wake Forest, Arizona and Auburn – and 12 squads currently ranked in Golfstat’s top 20.

Competing with No. 19 Vanderbilt are No. 1 Texas, No. 2 Arizona State, No. 3 Kent State, No. 4 Wake Forest, No. 5 Southern California, No. 6 Stanford, No. 7 Arizona, No. 9 Florida, No. 10 UCLA, No. 12 Duke and No. 17 Oregon. Also entered are Auburn, Pepperdine, Washington and tournament-host Ohio State.

“This tournament features a really strong field, but I’m looking for our girls to step up to the challenge,” Allen said.

Yu, Kim, Carlson Leading Commodores

The Vanderbilt lineup includes three players ranked individually in Golfstat’s top 100: Kim (52), Yu (56) and Carlson (83).

Yu was Vanderbilt’s most consistent golfer last fall, finishing among the team’s top two performers in three of four tournaments. Her fall campaign was highlighted by a runner-up individual effort in the Cougar Classic and eighth-place result in the Battle at the Beach.

Kim and Carlson will be playing their first tournament since earning invitations to the prestigious Augusta National Women’s Amateur in April. Kim’s fall campaign featured an individual win at the Cougar Classic and sixth-place finish at the Windy City Collegiate Classic. Carlson was sensational last September at the Mason Rudolph Championships, narrowly missing medalist honors with a runner-up finish.

Palos Verdes – A Spectacular Venue

The Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge is played at Palos Verdes Golf Club, one of Southern California’s most prestigious venues.

Designed by noted Southern California golf architects George Thomas and William Bell, the course situated southwest of Los Angeles in Palos Verdes Estates on slopes overlooking the Pacific Ocean. More than half of the holes at Palos Verdes feature panoramic views of the ocean.

The course will measure 6,017 yards for the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge. It will play to a par of 71.

The Tournament

• The first two rounds will feature tee times off the first and 10th holes, starting at 11 a.m. CT Sunday. The final round Tuesday will feature a shotgun start at 10:30 a.m. CT.

• Cool temperatures are expected on the Palos Verdes peninsula during the tournament, with highs in the 60s. The forecast calls for a chance of showers Sunday with clearing skies Monday and Tuesday.

• will provide live results.