Broze, Soo move on, Sooners fall just short of advancing

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STILLWATER – Oklahoma State’s Emma Broze and Oklahoma’s Julienne Soo moved into the final round but the Sooners as a team fell short of the 15-team cut Sunday at the NCAA Championships at Karsten Creek.

Needing a solid Sunday to stay in contention,  Emma Broze carded a 2-under par 70 to advance to the final round of stroke play. With 54 holes in the books, the top 15 teams and the top nine individuals not on one of those teams advanced to the final round of stroke play on Monday, which will determine the NCAA individual champion.

Soo shot 1-under 71 Sunday and is tied for 17th at 3-over 219. Her teammates fought gamely and were tied for 13th at one point, but a final round 295 left OU two shots out of a playoff for the final spot. Five teams were tied at 903, Colorado was at 904 and OU at 905.

At 1-over for the tournament, Broze (73-74-70 – 217) snagged the fourth individual spot and will tee off on the first hole at 12:40 p.m. The senior will enter the round eight strokes behind the current individual leader, Jennifer Kupcho of Wake Forest.

Despite rainy conditions, Broze posted six birdies including three over her final six holes to finish the day 2-under, which is her best round of the championship.

The finish marked OU’s fourth top-20 placing in the NCAA Championships under head coach Veronique Drouin-Luttrell.

“I think we played pretty solid all day, but at the end of the day had too many three putts and big numbers and out here that’s going to hurt you,” said Drouin-Luttrell. “Overall, I’m really proud of what the girls were able to do and how they kept fighting. We played really well and gave ourselves a chance – and they did.”

The Sooners reached the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2014, registering one of their best statistical seasons in school history. Oklahoma averaged a program-best season scoring average of 290.17 while also setting records for lowest team three-round score (839 at Westbrook Invitational), lowest individual round score (62 by Kaitlin Milligan at Westbrook Invitational) and lowest individual 54-hole score (199 by Milligan at Westbrook Invitational). Six of OU’s top 11 team round scores came this season.

“We had a great season,” said Drouin-Luttrell. “Our senior class had never made it to a national championship, so to finish on this note by playing here in Oklahoma was very fortunate.”

The tournament’s top 15 teams will play one final round of stroke play on Monday to determine an individual national champion and seeding for the eight-team match play bracket. Oklahoma junior Julienne Soo qualified to play in the final round as one of the top nine individuals on a non-advancing team.

Soo shot a 1-under 71 in Sunday’s round to bring her 54-hole total to 219 (+3). The junior is tied for 17th in the 132-person field and is three strokes out of the top 10. The National Golf Coaches Association automatically awards All American honors to the top 10 finishers of the NCAA Championships.

Soo will tee off in her final round at 12:40 p.m. CT on Monday while paired with Broze of Oklahoma State and Micheala Williams of Tennessee. Coverage of the final round will air live on Golf Channel and live scoring will be available on GolfStat.com.

Sunday’s round was the final day of collegiate competition for OU seniors Valerie Tanguay and Hannah Wood. Wood fired a 73 (+1) and carded three birdies on the back nine to finish in a tie for 67th place with a 227 (+11) while Tanguay shot a 74 (+2) to claim 75th at 229 (+13).

Wood finishes her career with the lowest career scoring average in program history (73.07) and her 57 career par-or-better rounds mark the second-most in OU’s record book.

OU’s lineup at the NCAA Championships also featured a pair of promising freshman. Sydney Youngblood shot a 236 (+20) in the event and Kaitlin Milligan finished at 241 (+25).

“I think it was great experience for them,” said Drouin-Luttrell. “Moving forward, they know what they need to work on over the summer for next season and I think they’ll be ready.”

Tickets are available at okstate.com/ncaagolf and fans can follow the live scoring at GolfStat.com.


 

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Ken MacLeod

Ken MacLeod

Publisher Golf Oklahoma | Oklahoma's No. 1 Golf Source

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