Cats’ Campos competes in USGA Four-Ball Championship

Brianna Navarrosa, left, and Zoe Campos, right, walk side by side down the green during Day Two of the USGA Women's Amateur Four-Ball Tournament at El Caballero Country Club in Tarzana, Calif. on April 29, 2018. Katharine Lotze/Special to the Signal
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TARZANA – On Sunday morning, Zoe Campos is awake and alert much earlier than the majority of her 15-year-old counterparts.

At 8 a.m., Campos is carefully watching her partner, Brianna Navarrosa, at the USGA Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship as she readies to putt on the fifth hole at El Caballero Country Club.

Coming off a CIF state title in her freshman season with West Ranch, Campos is spending the prep offseason hopping from tournament to tournament. On this particular weekend, she’s competing in her first-ever four-ball event.

“I think it’s a lot more fun and we don’t really have to get down on ourselves a lot because you can rely on your partner,” Campos said of her inaugural four-ball tourney.

“But if you both make a mistake, there’s more holes left and like, there’s both of you so there’s more chances you can play better.”

Navarrosa, a sophomore at Mater Dei, has been in the USGA Four-Ball Championship before – she even was a runner-up back in 2016 with partner Angelina Kim.

Zoe Campos chips out of a sand trap during day 2 of the USGA Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Tournament at El Caballero Country Club in Tarzana, Calif. on April 29, 2018. Katharine Lotze/Special to the Signal

So to make things easier for Campos’ first time in the championship, it only made sense for Navarrosa to make the switch to be partners with one of her best friends.

“With Angelina, we were also best friends,” Navarrosa said. “We’re all a huge group, but I also wanted to try something different and then she hasn’t been in it yet, so it would be fun for her first time.”

The two took to the course in matching navy blue pants and maroon pullovers that eventually were removed to reveal teal polo shirts.

The caddies, who were Campos’ and Navarrosa’s dads, also opted for the teal polos. From the sidelines, Navarrosa’s mom and aunt wore matching blue shirts, too.

“It was Zoe’s dad’s idea to coordinate,” said Navarossa with a laugh. “It was funny how we’re all matching. Even my mom and my aunt are matching and I was like, ‘Okay.’ But all the support matters.”

The sea of blue support saw Campos and Navarrosa tie for sixth place with a 4-under on the day. The pair proceeded to Monday’s Round of 32, but was eliminated that day in match play.

On Sunday, however, the duo was thriving. Navarrosa chugged along on the front nine while Campos adjusted her putting. By the back nine, nearly everything was fluid as they logged birdies on four holes.

Zoe Campos tees off at the first hole during Day Two of the USGA Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Tournament at El Caballero Country Club in Tarzana, Calif. on April 29, 2018. Katharine Lotze/Special to the Signal

“Today was pretty much my drive (that was working),” Campos, a UCLA commit, said. “My putting was a little bit off on the front nine, but I figured it out on the back. And I guess it all came together on the back nine. There were more opportunities.”

Navarrosa contributed the success to her chemistry with Campos.

“We’re so close that like, this is just another day of golf,” she said. “Like, it’s so fun. I might get down on myself and she’ll tell me to stop babying about it or something.”

Campos also received plenty of support from her fellow Wildcats ahead of the four-ball tournament. As someone who has taken golf very seriously from a young age, she appreciates the lightheartedness of prep golf.

She’s learning to strike a balance between the serious focus of golf and the fun side of the game. Just like she did in the USGA Four-Ball Championship.

“It’s not much of like, getting mad at each other,” Campos said of her time in the tournament. “It’s just boosting each other up pretty much and having a lot of fun. You can’t take it super serious. You just have to be out there.”

At 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning, Brianna Navarrosa sinks a putt for par on the fifth hole at El Caballero Country Club. She’s greeted with a congratulatory fist bump from Zoe Campos, who genuinely smiles for the first time all day.

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