Ria Scott is in her fifth season at the helm of the University of Oregon women’s golf program, having turned the Ducks into a regional power with lofty postseason goals.
A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, Scott was hired in June of 2009 after a successful run as head coach at the University of San Francisco. Since then, Scott has guided Oregon to NCAA postseason play in all four seasons, marking the program’s longest postseason streak since reaching regionals nine years in a row from 1993-2002. Prior to her arrival, Oregon hadn’t advanced to the NCAA Finals in 10 straight seasons.
The Ducks have advanced to the NCAA Regionals in four straight seasons and to the NCAA Championships in 2010 – Scott’s first season – and last season in 2013. In the two seasons UO didn’t advance past regionals with Scott, the Ducks were one stroke shy of moving on.
Under Scott’s guidance, the Ducks have finished the season ranked no worse than 35th nationally in each of the past four years and have made a habit of being ranked in the top 25. Oregon has also posted 20 top five team finishes since 2009, including three championships, and four individual medalist honors.
Scott and the Ducks have re-written the UO record books as of late, posting three of the school’s top four team season scoring averages (299.64/11.64 vs. par) and the top five individual season scoring averages (72.76/0.94 vs. par). Scott’s teams have also posted six of the top seven lowest team round scores (282/-10) and four of the top five lowest team tournament scores (848/-4) in UO history. Individually, the Ducks have also posted six of the top seven lowest round scores (65/-7) and four of the top five lowest tournament scores (204/-9).
Scott’s Ducks have also achieved in the class room, collecting a combined seven all-conference academic honors.
In the 2013 fall season, the Ducks placed in the top six in all five tournaments, had a win-loss record of 50-17 and improved to No. 17 in the GolfStat.com national rankings.
Last season (2012-13), Scott and the Ducks advanced to the NCAA Championships for the eighth time in program history. Competing on the UGA Golf Course in Athens, Ga., the Ducks placed 22nd in the loaded field and finished the season ranked 35th. UO advanced after placing sixth at the NCAA West Regional. The Ducks closed with a 301.39 team round average – the fourth best in UO history. Scott helped coach sophomore Cassy Isagawa to a second team All-Pac-12 selection after finishing with a 72.86 round average – second in program history only to her freshman mark.
The Ducks climbed as high as No. 12 in the national rankings in the 2011-12 season, posting four top five team finishes and qualifying to the NCAA Central Regional. The season was highlighted by two runner-up team finishes and a 54-hole score of 848 (-4) at the Stanford Intercollegiate, which is the program’s best tournament score by 15 strokes. Oregon placed ninth at regionals, missing the cut by a single stroke. Scott also coached Cassy Isagawa to one of the most impressive individual seasons ever recorded by a Duck. Isagawa, as a true freshman, carded UO’s lowest ever round average (72.7) with five top five individual finishes, earning first team All-Pac-12 honors and Golfweek All-American First Team accolades.
In the 2010-11 season, the Ducks set the program record for lowest average team score vs. par (11.64) and won two tournaments – the UNM Dick McGuire Invitational (881) and the Pacific Coast Intercollegiate (891). The Ducks posted six top six team finishes. Individually, Erica Omlid and Kendra Little posted the third and fourth best season scoring averages vs. par in program history. The Ducks placed ninth at the NCAA West Regional, two strokes above their seeding, and missed the cut by one stroke. The Ducks closed the season ranked 34th nationally with a 299.64 team round average.
In her first season with the program (2009-10), Scott guided the Ducks to its best-ever Pac-10 Championship finish and led the Ducks to their first NCAA Championship trip in 10 years. Oregon posted six top five team finishes and won the Giustina Memorial Classic. The Ducks caught fire at the end of the season, placing third as the host of the 2010 Pac-10
Championships with a score of 889. In the NCAA Central Regional, the Ducks placed sixth at the Otter Creek Golf Club with a 72-hole score of 939. The sixth place finish marked the second best regional finish in program history as the Ducks placed five spots better than their seeding. UO competed in Wilmington, N.C., for the 29th Annual NCAA Championships, tying for 23rd. Kendra Little became the first Duck ever to claim three All-Pac-10 honors after she notched UO’s best-ever Pac-10 Championships placing (third-tie, 72-75-72-219). The Eugene native capped her season by tying her career low round in the NCAA finale (a five-under 67) while her eighth-place Central Regional finish netted All-Region laurels.
In her prior two-year stint at the University San Francisco, Scott was named West Coast Conference Coach of the Year in 2009. USF spent much of the spring ranked top 30 nationally that season en route to a school-record 300.19 scoring average – an impressive 4.29 strokes better than the previous program best. That fall, the Dons won the Oregon Duck Invitational and took second in the West Coast Conference for the second straight season. Individually for USF in ’08-09, WCC Player of the Year Danielle Cvitanov ended the year ranked 43rd nationally in the Golfstat rankings after she posted a school-record season average (74.06).
In Scott’s first season at San Francisco in 2007-08, her unit broke the school 54-hole tournament scoring record in the UNLV Rebel Spring Invitational (870) by four strokes. USF ended the season with six top-five finishes, including another runner-up WCC finish, as all five entries received all-league honors. In the classroom, her team was equally successful, as USF athletes claimed five WCC All-Academic laurels.
Before becoming a coach, Scott played professionally on the Duramed Futures, Canadian Women’s, West Coast Ladies Golf, Orient Masters China Golf and Ladies Asian Golf tours. Other professional highlights include appearances in the 2006 Women’s World Cup in South Africa and the 2004 U.S. Women’s Open. Scott was the first woman to compete in an Asian PGA event, competing in the 2004 DHL Philippine Open.
As a senior co-captain, the 2003 California graduate led the team in the NCAA Championships (28th overall), and was a 2003 All-Pac-10 and 2002 All-Region honoree. Her final season, she helped the Bears win a school record seven tournaments, capture Pac-10 and regional titles, and rank as high as second nationally. The two-time Pac-10 All-Academic honorable mention selection also won the 2003 Anna Espenschade Award, presented to the top graduating female student-athlete at Cal.
As a prep, the Philippines native started the golf program at James Logan High School in Union City, Calif., where she captained the boy’s team her final three years. She won the 1997 California Junior Girl’s Championship at Pebble Beach less than four years after she picked up her first golf club.
Among various national and international events, she qualified for six USGA Championships – one U.S. Women’s Open, two U.S. Girl’s Junior, and three U.S. Women’s Amateur events. Scott advanced to the Round of 16 at the 2001 British Women’s Amateur. In addition, she competed for the Philippine National Team (1997-2002), and earned a gold medal in the 1997 Southeast Asian Games and a pair of bronze medals in the 1998 and 2002 Asian Games. Scott also played in two World Amateur Team Championships in 1998 (Chile) and 2000 (Germany) for the Philippine National Team.
Scott was voted to serve as the secretary on the Board of Directors of the National Golf Coaches Association as of June 1, 2012.
She married Drew Scott, the former head coach of the Rice men’s golf team, in June 2010. They have one son, Walker, born April 2012.