Having completed six years as the head coach for the Oregon women’s golf team, Ria Scott and the rest of the Ducks have rewrote much of the school record book, with the majority of the new marks being set in the past two seasons.
Most recently in the 2014-15 season, Scott and the Ducks finished the season with a 293.10 season scoring average, blowing away the average that was set in the 2013-14 season (298.61) by almost six strokes. In addition to playing the best golf statistically in program history, UO wrapped up the year with two tournament victories in the spring season – Peg Barnard Invitational and Silverado Showdown – giving them two spring victories for the first time since the 2000 season.
Behind Scott’s direction the Ducks earned their best finish and score at the conference championships in program history this past year with an 858 that gave them second place. Individually, Caroline Inglis won the first conference championship in program history with a 7-under 206 (67-72-67).
Her coaching has the Ducks in arguably their most successful six-year stretch. Scott’s teams have five of the top six season scoring averages in school history, and every single one of the player in the top-10 season scoring average category were coached by Scott. In short, her ability to attract upper-echelon talent to Oregon has propelled the Ducks to unprecedented levels of success.
As a team, Oregon has achieved nine of the top 10 team low rounds and the top six low tournaments in program history under Scott. Now on the cusp of her seventh season, Scott and the Ducks will continue pursuing postseason goals that will hopefully see them playing at Eugene Country Club in 2016 when they host the Division I Men’s and Women’s NCAA Golf Championships on May 20-25.
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 five 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 six straight seasons under Scott and to the NCAA Championships in 2010 – Scott’s first season – and also in 2013. In two of the four 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 26 top five team finishes since 2009, including five championships, and five individual medalist honors.
The 2013-14 season saw Oregon finish the season with a 298.6 round average, which is now the second-lowest average in school history. Then-junior Cassy Isagawa ended the season with a 72.95 round average (5th-lowest average), Cathleen Santoso provided the sixth-lowest average (73.87) and Inglis was right behind with the seventh-lowest average after finishing the year with a 74.03 average. Isagawa was named second-team All-Pac-12 (one of four players in program history with three Pac-12 honors) and Santoso earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 accolades.
In 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 sixth 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 – third in program history.
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 tied for the program’s best tournament score. 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 second-lowest ever round average (72.76) 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 recorded the third-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 ninth and tenth 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 second 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 Associate Vice President on the Board of Directors for the Women's Golf Coaches Association.
She married Drew Scott, the former head coach of the Rice men’s golf team, in June 2010. They have two sons, Walker who was born April 2012 and Grant who was born June 2014.