Casie Cathrea and her lucky Oklahoma State golf bag are on a roll. With the golf club tools of her trade ensconced in the orange and black bag emblazoned with the OSU logo this weekend during the final matches of the San Francisco City Championship, the Livermore teen won both her quarterfinal and semifinal matches 5 and 3, and took the championship match on Sunday by a stunning 10 and 8.
Cathrea dispatched her quarterfinal opponent, 8th seed Nicolette Bondura, a freshman on the CSU Sacramento Hornets golf team, 5 and 3, then returned in the afternoon and won her semifinal match against 5th seed Nina Fairbairn of Orinda, another high school senior with a distinguished junior golf resumé, by the same margin.
The final match in the Women’s Championship Division on Sunday morning came down to Cathrea and Gunn High School (Palo Alto) senior Jayshree Sarathy. Fourteen-seed Sarathy came through her quarterfinal and semifinal matches 2 and 1, 4 and 3, but was overmatched in Sunday’s final match by Cathrea.
The firm and fast conditions at TPC Harding Park – a marked contrast to the puddled fairways and slow, soggy greens that have challenged players in past City Championships – favored Cathrea’s length, a legacy of the 17-year-old’s dedicated gym regime. Length and accuracy off the tee are defining features of the future Oklahoma State Cowgirl’s game, but not her only strength – her iron play borders on the laser-like when she is hitting on all cylinders.
With her carry off the tee enhanced by the roll of the firm fairways, the result of the driest January and February that San Francisco has seen in decades, Cathrea rolled up her opponent in ten straight holes, leaving Sarathy holding the runner-up trophy for the second year in a row. The victory is particularly sweet for Cathrea, who has twice finished second in this tournament herself.
Beyond the meaning it holds for her personally, the Livermore teen is conscious of the tournament’s history, “It’s an honor being on the same trophy as Juli Inkster,” she said after Sunday’s victory.