*Final-round results in PDF format are available in the LINKS box to the right, hole-by-hole results are available by clicking here.
COLUMBUS, Ind. - The No. 32 University of Oregon women's golf team successfully completed its push for the postseason Saturday with a sixth-place finish in the final round of the NCAA Central Regional hosted at the Otter Creek Golf Club.
UO earned its first NCAA Championships berth in 10 years and seventh overall in school history, after it tied for sixth place overall (305-316-318-939) with No. 22 Florida State (308-321-310-939).
“I couldn’t be more proud of this team,” first-year Duck head coach Ria Quiazon said. “There were many people that didn’t belief we could make it to nationals, but our players did, and that’s all that mattered. We’ve been working towards this all year. This really opens the door to the future, since we have four back from this event next year who will also have played nationals.”
The Ducks stood fourth at the end of Thursday’s and Friday’s first and second rounds, and Saturday’s finish tied its second-highest regional placing form the 1997 West Regional, while its best effort came in the 1995 West Regional (fourth).
Oregon had entered the meet seeded 11th in the 24-team field, but had plenty of confidence. UO had staked a best-ever third-place Pac-10 Championships finish two weeks before after it entered the league finale seeded seventh behind three top-five ranked teams, two more top-20 squads and another top-40 team.
In the overall standings Saturday, No. 5 USC (first, 299-304-304-907) added four strokes to its pre-round lead and topped No. 2 Arizona State (second, 297-310-308-915) by eight strokes.
No. 7 Purdue followed in third place (303-320-308-931), and the other top-eight team finishers that earned bids to the upcoming NCAA Championships included No. 21 New Mexico (fourth, 306-318-312-936), No. 28 Oklahoma State (fifth, 305-308-324-937) and No. 35 Kent State (eighth, 309-319-312-940).
Two other teams were within two strokes of potential NCAA invitations – No. 16 Denver (ninth, 312-313-316-941) and No. 13 Michigan State (10th, 310-316-316-942), while No. 14 Georgia (11th, 312-314-320-946) was another four strokes back.
Complete team results and scores follow at the bottom of this release.
Individually, junior Kendra Little continued to pace UO in the overall standings for the third straight day (eighth-tie, 70-79—79-228) – the seventh time that she’s paced Oregon in 11 tournaments this season.
Two strokes back, freshman Cheyenne Hickle jumped 15 places in the final standings thanks to the sixth-best final round – a three-over 75 - among the 123-player field Saturday (12th-t, 77-78-75-230). She paced UO for the eighth time in her 19 rounds this spring, and has accomplished the feat in at least one round in six of the spring’s seven tournaments.
The Gilbert, Ariz., native Hickle managed the cleanest scorecard of the day for the Ducks with one birdie on the par-5 18th, 14 par scores (#2-7, 9-13, 15-17), two bogeys on the par-3 eighth and par-5 14th, and one double-bogey after her turn on the par-5 first hole
Little added a pair of birdies on the par-4 seventh and 17th holes.
UO’s other entries included sophomore Ashley Edwards (38th-t, 77-79-81-237), junior Erica Omlid (79th-t, 83-80-83-246) and senior Kate Hildahl (89th-t, 81-86-83-250).
“Playing against a field of this caliber and in conditions this challenging reminds you not to take any shot, hole or team for granted,” Quiazon said. “Anything can happen, and they didn’t get to show how well they played by their scores. The wind dried out the greens and made them really fast. The pin placements were challenging and often on slopes, or set close to the edge of the green or near tall rough. The wind always seemed to be changing, so playing in those difficult settings may put us at more ease at nationals, and overall it was a great learning experience.”
For comparison’s sake, Little entered the final round in a tie for fourth place, followed by Hickle (27th), Edwards (30th-t), Omlid (73rd-t) and Hildahl (90th-t). The Eugene native Little opened the tourney Thursday in a tie for first place with her two-under 70, and was followed by Edwards and Hickle who were tied for 27th place overall (77), Hildahl (69th-t, 81) and Omlid (86th-t, 83).
“Kendra again pulled it out when it counts, and she continues to refine every part of her game,” Quiazon said. “She had a great first round because she played smart and managed the course well and that set her up for the tournament. Cheyenne has evolved so much the last couple weeks. She’s hitting it great and getting up and down well. Erica also played steady, and had a lot of great holes. I received a lot of compliments about her shots from various spectators and professionals. With Ashley you know you’re going to get her best on every shot, and she gives you her best every day and never lets down. Kate tried really hard to help the team – maybe a little too hard since she didn’t want this to be her last tournament. I’m looking forward to seeing her help us again at nationals because she can play with anyone as she showed at Pac-10s.”
In Saturday’s overall individual standings, Kent State’s Martina Gavier tied for the best final round (an even-par 72) and improved three spots to win by two strokes (72-75-72-219). USC’s Lizette Salas followed in second place (75-71-75-221) after she entered the day tied for the lead with Oklahoma State’s Victoria Park who ultimately fell into a fourth-place tie (72-74-80-226).
Complete hole-by-hole results for each player are available at the www.Golfstat.com website at the http://www.golfstatresults.com/public/index.cfm?tournament_id=1859 URL address.
Final results are also posted at the www.IUhoosiers.com website, and more NCAA tourney information and history is available at the www.NCAAsports.com website.
Looking ahead, UO returns home for a week of practice before heading to the NCAA Championships at the Country Club of Landfall in Wilmington, N.C., Tuesday-Saturday, May 18-21.
Oregon made all six of its prior NCAA trips in an eight-year window between 1993-2000 under the guidance of former Duck coach and current Executive Senior Associate Athletic Director and Senior Women’s Administrator Renee Baumgartner. Those finishes follow (1993 – 17th; 1994 – 14th; 1995 – 13th; 1997 – 7th; 1998 – 14th; 2000 – 11th).
On the individual front, UO was also represented in the NCAA finale last year by Cathryn Bristow (96th, 78-79-79-80-316). Two other Ducks have competed in the event as individuals - Johnna Nealy (85th, 307, 2005) and Leigh Hornung (82nd-t, 320, 1992).
FINAL ROUND RESULTS
NCAA Central Regional
Otter Creek Golf Club, Columbus, Ind.
Host: Indiana University
Par 72, 6,417 Yards
Saturday, May 7, 2010
Team Results – 1, USC, 299-304-304-907. 2, Arizona State, 297-310-308-915. 3, Purdue, 303-320-308-931. 4, New Mexico, 306-318-312-936. 5, Oklahoma State, 305-308-324-937. 6t, Oregon, 305-316-318-939. 6t, Florida State, 308-321-310-939. 8, Kent State, 309-319-312-940. 9, Denver, 312-313-316-941. 10, Michigan State, 310-316-316-942. 11, Georgia, 312-314-320-946. 12, Ole Miss, 309-317-326-952. 13, San Diego State, 319-316-319-954. 14, Louisville, 315-324-317-956. 15, Northwestern, 321-322-314-957. 16, Baylor, 316-329-323-968. 17, Notre Dame, 328-319-323-970. 18, Indiana, 318-328-325-971. 19, Illinois State, 317-329-327-973. 20, Tulsa, 324-330-323-977. 21, N.C. State, 328-324-332-984. 22, Murray State, 336-347-340-1023. 23, Detroit-Merch, 352-354-358-1064. 24, Jackson State, 357-357-364-1078.
Top Individual Results – 1, Martina Gavier, Kent State, 72-75-72-219. 2, Lizette Salas, USC, 75-71-75-221. 3, Marta Silva Zamora, Georgia, 75-76-72-223. 4t, Caroline Hedwall, Oklahoma State, 77-73-76-226. 4t, Thea Hoffmeister, Purdue, 70-81-75-226. 4t, Victoria Park, Oklahoma State, 72-74-80-226. 7, Juliana Murcia, Arizona State, 71-79-77-227. 8t, Kendra Little, Oregon, 70-79-79-228. 8t, Carlota Ciganda, Arizona State, 76-77-75-228. 8t, Jodi Ewart, New Mexico, 72-77-79-228.
Oregon Individual Results – 8t, Kendra Little, 70-79-79-228. 12t, Cheyenne Hickle, 77-78-75-230. 38t, Ashley Edwards, 77-79-81-237. 79t, Erica Omlid, 83-80-83-246. 89t, Kate Hildahl, 81-86-83-250.
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