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HALF MOON BAY, Calif. - Thanks to its tourney-low final round, the No. 37 University of Oregon women's golf team made up a five-stroke deficit on No. 27 Texas A&M to cap the regular season with a one-stroke win in the first annual Pacific Coast Intercollegiate Tuesday.
For the Ducks (304-297-290-891), their two-over 290 Tuesday was their second straight sub-300 round of the spring and both easily topped their previous season-best score (302).
Oregon's team victory was its 24th in school history, and third under second-year head coach Ria Scott after titles in the 2009 Giustina Memorial Invitational and 2010 Branch Law Firm / Dick McGuire Invitational.
“I’m really proud of how the team pulled through today,” Oregon head coach Ria Scott said. “We borrowed a phrase from the football team and tried to ‘Win the Day’. Everyone played a part in the team’s success, and stepped up in different ways. There is also room to improve, so that's good, too."
The Aggies (298-298-296-892) still posted their best round of the tourney on the Half Moon Bay Links course Tuesday, and finished 13 strokes ahead of UC Davis (third, 309-302-294-905) who improved three positions.
The latter squad tied for the second-best final round with Northwestern (fifth, 293-320-294-907), and was joined in the top five by Long Beach State (fourth, 297-304-304-905) and Colorado (fifth-tie, 295-309-303-907).
Individually for UO, junior Ashley Edwards (second-tie, 77-75-68-220) enjoyed the best round of the tournament Tuesday. The Oakley, Calif., native shaved two strokes off her career best round to match the sixth-best round in school history - a four-under 68.
"I was hitting the ball great yesterday, Edwards said, "better than I had been, but wasn’t making putts like I did today. I was sticking my irons pretty close to the hole, and made a few 15-footers and really got my confidence going . I always love playing in California, so that also made me feel comfortable. We're looking forward to Pac-10's and Regionals, and this was a great way to springboard into those events."
Edwards' finale was one shy of the second-best score (five-under) and current team best that teammate Kendra Little has posted four times before. She also turned in her career-low tourney finish and improved on fifth-place efforts as both a freshman and sophomore.
“Ashley did great today, and once she got some putts to fall she kept firing away," Scott said. "She got a new driver on Friday, tried it out for the first time on Saturday, and almost won a tourney with it on Monday and Tuesday – that's pretty impressive. She saw her swing coach over spring break, and confirmed that she was on the right track, and she showed it today."
The Ducks also counted a pair of one-over 73's Tuesday from freshman Raphaela Dyer (10th-tie, 75-76-73-224) and senior Erica Omlid (13th-tie, 77-75-73-225). Their other top-10 finisher, sophomore Cheyenne Hickle , tied Dyer for 10th place overall(77-71-76-224).
Dyer and Hickle were rewarded with their highest placings of the season, while Omlid's was her second-best behind her win in the Branch Law Firm Invitational last fall.
Little rounded out the Duck contingent (55th-t, 75-84-79-238), and sophomore Avery Sills tied for 55th as an individual entry (75-84-81-238).
Glancing at Tuesday's scorecards, Edwards had a run of four birdies in six holes (#8, #10, #12, #13) and no bogeys, while Dyer had two birdies, and Hickle, Little, Omlid and Sills each claimed one.
Tourney-wise, Hickle owned the most birdies (8) during the three rounds - followed by Dyer and Edwards (7), Omlid (5), Sills (3) and Little (2).
“Cheyenne wasn’t feeling well all week," Scott said, "so her scores on Monday showed how tough she is, especially on a 36-hole day. Erica was steady and smart throughout and played her own game. Raffi also made a recent club change and loved her new Nike irons. She swings it so aggressively that I can’t wait to see what she does in the postseason. Kendra has always come through when it counts the most, and we're looking forward to her doing the same the next few events.”
On the individual leaderboard, Edwards tied for runner-up honors with Long Beach State's Noelle Zavaleta (71-78-71-220) - two strokes behind Texas A&M's Katerina Ruzickova (first, 73-76-69-218).
"It was an amazing event to help host (with UC Davis)," Scott said, "especially for its first year. We were happy that so many people in the community and teams from all around the country could come out and be a part of a great collegiate event.”
Looking ahead, UO has two weeks until it opens the postseason in the Pacific-10 Conference Championships, April 17-19 at the Karsten Golf Course in Tempe, Ariz.
Pacific Coast Intercollegiate
Half Moon Bay Links Course
Tuesday, April, 5, 2011
TEAM RESULTS - 1. Oregon, 304-297-290-891. 2, Texas A&M, 298-298-296-892. 3t, UC Davis, 309-302-294-905. 3t, Long Beach State, 297-304-304-905. 5t, Northwestern, 293-320-294-907. 5t, Colorado, 295-309-303-907. 7, Texas Tech, 307-299-302-908. 8, San Jose State, 299-316-304-919. 9, Fresno State, 307-310-306-923. 10, UNLV, 311-310-303-924). 11, San Francisco, 313-314-307-934. 12, Colorado State, 302-322-313-937.
TOP INDIVIDUALS - Katerina Ruzickova, Texas A&M, 73-76-69-218. 2t, Ashley Edwards , Oregon, 77-75-68-220. 2t, Noelle Zavaleta, Long Beach State, 71-78-71-220. 4t, Gabrielle Dominguez, Texas Tech, 76-75-71-222. 4t, Lauren Weaver, Northwestern, 69-76-77-69-76-77-222. 6t, Natalie Reeves, Texas A&M, 73-71-79-223. 6t, Jessica Wallace, Colorado, 72-77-74-223. 6t, Sydney Burlison, Stanford, 74-75-74-223. 6t, Therese Koelbaek, UNLV, 74-75-74-223. 10t, Raphaela Dyer , Oregon, 75-76-73-224. 10t, Cheyenne Hickle , Oregon, 77-71-76-224. 10t, Reina Rogers, Long Beach State, 74-75-75-224.
OREGON INDIVIDUAL RESULTS - 2t, Ashley Edwards , 77-75-68-220. 10t, Raphaela Dyer , 75-76-73-224. 10t, Cheyenne Hickle , 77-71-76-224. 13t, Erica Omlid , 77-75-73-225. 55t, Kendra Little , 75-84-79-238. (Individual Entry) - 55t, Avery Sills , 79-78-81-238.
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