Posted by Gilbert Sam on 3:09 PM
|Photo Courtesy: SoonerSports.com|
The Sooners recorded their best score of the event in Friday's final round, a 1-over-par 281, bringing their four-round total to 1,147 strokes (+27). As one of the top four teams, OU received an NCAA team trophy.
Duke took the team title, finishing with a 10-over 1,130, edging defending national champion USC by two shots. UCLA finished third with a 1,145 (+25), while Arizona State completed the top five with a 1,150 (+30). USC's Doris Chen claimed the individual national title with a 6-under-par 274.
In her first NCAA Championships appearance, freshman Alexandra Kaui led the Sooners, finishing in a tie for 16th place out of 126 golfers with a four-round 285 (+5). The Big 12 Freshman of the Year, who led the tournament after the second round, rebounded from a difficult third round in which she tallied a 10-over 80. She posted an even-par 70 on Friday, birdying three of her last six holes, including No. 18.
"I feel great about our finish even though we made a few mistakes," said Kaui, whose 72.76 final season scoring average ranks as the second best in school history. "We still played better than we ever have, and it's our first NCAA trophy to bring back home. I'm really proud of our seniors and this team."
With a 288 (+8), senior Chirapat Jao-Javanil tied for 28th place. On Friday, Jao-Javanil carded an even-par 70, her best of the event. The 2012 individual national champion and the most decorated player in program history played the front nine at 2-over before registering two birdies and seven pars over the last nine holes to even her score.
"OU has given me so much more than I could have ever asked for," Jao-Javanil said. "I'm just glad that today, as a team, we came through and put another record in the books. I'm really proud of my four years and all of the seniors' four years. We've accomplished so many great things together and the memories I've made here will last a lifetime."
After shooting a final-round 72 (+2), Anne-Catherine Tanguay finished in a tie for 43rd place with a tournament total of 291 (+11). The senior recorded birdies on holes No. 7 and 11 in the final round. Tanguay finished with the second-best career scoring average in OU history, behind Jao-Javanil.
Senior Emily Collins logged a 1-under-par 69 for the final 18 holes, OU's best score of the day and her first sub-par round of the national tournament. Collins recorded two birdies and just one bogey, jumping to a share of 48th place with a four-round 292 (+12).
Kaitlyn Rohrback tallied a 2-over 72 on Friday and a four-round 299 (+19). The senior, who birdied three holes in the final round, tied for 84th place.
Fifth-year OU head coach Veronique Drouin-Luttrell said she's more than pleased with the program-record performance.
"We had a little bit of a hiccup yesterday, but we moved on and got better," Drouin-Luttrell said. "We wanted to come out today and play well and the girls came back and did that. We're definitely happy to go back to Norman with a trophy. This is the best we've ever done as a team, and I'm just really proud of the whole group."
The fourth-place showing marked the third time in the last three years the Sooners finished in the top 10 at the NCAA Championships. OU tied for sixth place in 2012 and tied for ninth last year.
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