The University of Oklahoma women’s golf team posted the third-best national finish in school history Friday, tying for ninth place at the 24-team, four-round NCAA Championships in Athens, Ga.
The Sooners shot a final-round 309 (+21) at the par-72 University of Georgia Golf Course to tie Michigan State for the ninth spot. It was OU’s second straight top-10 national finish after tying for sixth place last year. Oklahoma also finished in sixth in 2002.
USC cruised to the team title, shooting an even-par final round to beat runner-up Duke by 21 strokes. The Trojans finished the tournament at 19 under par. USC’s Annie Park won medalist honors with her -10 under 278 for the week. She won by six shots.
"I’m really proud of this team," said fourth-year OU head coach Veronique Drouin-Luttrell. "We’ve had some big achievements this year and can’t wait for next fall to get here. We’ve come a long way and can say that finishing in the top 10 two years in a row is a pretty good feat."
Chirapat Jao-Javanil led the Sooners for the third straight afternoon on Friday. The junior, who won last year’s NCAA title, shot a final-round 75 (+3). Jao-Javanil tied for 17th place out of 126 competitors with a four round 293 (+5). It was her 10th top-20 finish in 11 tournaments this year for the best golfer in school history (by scoring average).
A trio of Sooners shot a final-round 78 (+6), including senior Taylor Schmidt, who tied for 32nd place on the week at +8. Prior to Friday, Schmidt had shot +2 or better each day.
"I’m proud of Taylor and sad to see her graduate," said Drouin-Luttrell. "She’s done a lot for this program and I’m happy to have had the chance to coach her."
Also carding a 78 on Friday were juniors Emily Collins and Kaitlyn Rohrback. Each finished the tournament at +19 and in a tie for 85th place. Collins was at even par after her first nine holes Friday before shooting 6 over on the last nine. Rohrback registered a team-high five birdies on the day.
Anne-Catherine Tanguay turned in a final-round 81 (+9) and finished in a tie for 58th place at +14. Her finish was her first outside the top 20 in her 11 events this season.
Oklahoma was one of three Big 12 Conference teams to make the NCAA Championships. Oklahoma State finished in 12th place and Texas took 21st place.
Oklahoma State closed with a 296 on Friday The Cowgirls’ 8-over score was the low round of the morning wave by four shots, the third-best score of the day overall and moved them up from 20th place. OSU finished with a 41-over total of 1,193, which was two shots off the pace of Oklahoma, Michigan State and Tulane for ninth place at the par-72, 6,372-yard layout.
OSU freshman Julie Yang closed with a 74 to come in as the squad’s top finisher at 293. Her 5-over total tied her for 17th place.
Josephine Janson moved up 40 spots and finished tied for 42nd place at 299. The junior got off to a hot start with a bogey-free outward nine that featured birdies at the first, fourth and eighth holes. Janson bogeyed the 11th before reeling off three consecutive birdies to move to 5-under for the day. However, she gave back four shots with back-to-back double bogeys at the 16th and 17th before closing with a par at the 18th to remain in red figures for the day.
Junior Jayde Panos finished with a 79 during her fourth round, giving her a 301 tally and tying her for 50th place.
Senior Kelsey Vines closed out her career with her second consecutive 75 to climb 28 spots into a tie for 80th place at 306.
Junior Lauren Falley carded her low round of the event, posting a 76 to finish at 307 and vaulted 23 spots on the leaderboard into a tie for 85th place.