Red-hot OSU, defending champion OU ready for Big 12 Women’s Golf Championship

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 Oklahoma State’s women’s golf team will seek its ninth Big 12 title this week when it begins play at the Big 12 Championship at the Dominion Country Club in San Antonio, Texas.

Carrying a No. 9 national ranking after having won two of their last three tournaments, the Cowgirls will enter play as the top seed at the par-72, 6,333-yard layout. The 54-hole event will get underway on Friday and will run through Sunday. OSU will be grouped with No. 2 seed Baylor and third-seeded Iowa State for its first round and will begin play at 8 a.m.

The Cowgirls will feature a starting lineup consisting of sophomores Isabella Deilert and Linnea Johansson as well as the freshman trio of Emma Broze, Maddie McCrary and Kenzie Neisen.

OSU won its eighth Big 12 crown in 2013 at The Harvester in Rhodes, Iowa. The Cowgirls most recent title prior to that came in 2009 at The Rawls Course in Lubbock, Texas. OSU first won the event in 1999 in Boulder, Colo. The Cowgirls then reeled off three consecutive championships starting with their victory in 2001 at The Harvester. After winning the 2002 tourney in Manhattan, Kan., OSU closed out its string with its triumph in Columbia, Mo. in 2003. The Cowgirls won the 2005 title in Austin, Texas before claiming the 2008 title on their home course,Karsten Creek, in Stillwater.

OSU has been nearly as successful in the individual Big 12 race as it has been in the team race, having seven players claim medalist honors during the history of the event. In 1999, Maria Bodén became the first Cowgirl to win the tournament and regained the title in 2001. Emma Zackrisson grabbed top honors in 2002, while Annie Thurman followed two years later with back-to-back victories in 2004 and 2005. Jaclyn Sweeney won the event in 2008 before Caroline Hedwall took top honors in 2010 to become the school’s most recent champion.

The University of Oklahoma is coming off a 10th-place finish at the elite PING/ASU Invitational in Tempe, Ariz. OU logged a three-round 880 (+16) in a 15-team field that featured 12 of Golfweek’s top 25 teams. Freshman Ana Ruiz paced Oklahoma, firing a 215 (-1) and finishing in a career-best 10th-place tie.

Sixth-year OU head coach Veronique Drouin-Luttrell said  her team is playing well as it aims to qualify for a fourth straight NCAA Tournament appearance.

“Postseason is a new season, and there is definitely some excitement, especially after how well we played in our last tournament. That was encouraging to everyone,” Drouin-Luttrell said. “The girls are putting in the time and effort, so to see it pay off toward the end of the season is really exciting. Hopefully we can carry that energy into Big 12s this weekend.”

The Sooners are the No. 7 seed in the championship and will tee off Friday at 10 a.m. CT with No. 8 seed Kansas and No. 9 seed Kansas State.

TOURNAMENT FIELD (GOLFWEEK/SAGARIN RANKINGS)
Oklahoma State (9)
Baylor (20)
Iowa State
Texas Tech
Texas
TCU
Oklahoma
Kansas
Kansas State

OU LINEUP
1. Ana Ruiz, Freshman: Coming off a collegiate-best tie for 10th place at the PING/ASU Invitational … Halved a match with No. 71 Kenzie Neisen of Oklahoma State in Bedlam Cup match play event this month … Shared 30th place at the LSU Tiger Golf Classic … Recorded shares of 25th place at both the Westbrook Spring Invitational and the Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel Invitational … Tied for 16th place at the Jim West Challenge.

2. Hannah Wood, Freshman: Coming off a tie for 34th place at the PING/ASU Invitational … Defeated 58th-ranked Linnea Johansson of Oklahoma State in match play … Tied for 19th place at the LSU Tiger Golf Classic … Secured the individual title at the Clover Cup with a career-best 209 (-7) … Shared seventh place at the Westbrook Spring Invitational … Has recorded five top-20 finishes in six career tournaments.

3. Valerie Tanguay, Freshman: Coming off a share of 52nd place at the PING/ASU Invitational … Defeated Alexis Sadeghy of Oklahoma State in match play … Shared 23rd place at the LSU Tiger Golf Classic … Tied for 48th place at the Clover Cup … Tied for 33rd place at the Westbrook Spring Invitational … Joined the Sooners in January.

4. Alexandra Kaui, Sophomore: Coming off a tie for 57th place at the PING/ASU Invitational … Tied for 34th place at the Clover Cup … Shared 22nd place at the Jim West Challenge … Tied for 13th place at the season-opening Schooner Fall Classic, recording a season-best 67 (-3) in the final round.

5. Rylee Pedigo, Freshman: Coming off a share of 79th place at the PING/ASU Invitational … Tied for 48th place at the Clover Cup … Tied for 25th place at the Westbrook Spring Invitational … Recorded a 61st-place finish at the Jim West Challenge in the fall … Tied for 37th place at the Alamo Invitational.

THE COURSE
The par-72, 6,333-yard Dominion Country Club in San Antonio, Texas, will serve as the host course for the 2015 Big 12 Women’s Golf Championship.

FORMAT
Teams will compete in 54 holes of stroke play over three days (18 holes each Friday, Saturday and Sunday). Play will begin at 8 a.m. CT on Friday with the top seeds teeing off first. All golfers will begin on hole one.

BIG 12 HISTORY
The Sooners have collected three Big 12 titles with the most recent coming a year ago in Austin, Texas, when the squad’s three-round 861 (-3) shattered the previous Big 12 Championship record of 872 (+8) set by Texas in 2011. Then-senior Chirapat Jao-Javanil secured the individual Big 12 title by carding a 209 (-7). OU’s other conference title came in 2000 and 2012.

WEATHER FORECAST
Friday: High of 84 degrees with S winds at 10 mph and an 80 percent chance of rain.
Saturday: High of 90 degrees with W-NW winds at 5 mph and a 60 percent chance of rain.
Sunday: High of 88 degrees with S-SW winds at 10 mph and a 40 percent chance of rain.

LIVE STATS
Live scoring will be available at Big12Sports.com.
 

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Ken MacLeod

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

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