OU’s Soo advances to NCAA Championship, Sooners fall short

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Oklahoma women’s golf sophomore Julienne Soo advanced to the 2017 NCAA Championships after qualifying as an individual at the NCAA Lubbock Regional. The tournament was held at the par-72, 6,593-yard Rawls Course in Lubbock, Texas.

The Sooners saved their best round for last, firing a 285 (-3) on the day, but did not place in the coveted top six to qualify for the national tournament as a team. The squad tallied a three-round 885 (+21) and finished the tournament in ninth place. No. 2-seed Arizona State topped the leaderboard with an 842 and No. 3 Furman finished second at 863. No. 12 Oregon rounded out the top three with an 866. No. 5 Texas, No. 9 Texas Tech and No. 4 Kent State make up the final three teams advancing to NCAAs.

Soo, who was the top individual not on an advancing team, fired a three-round 213 (-3) to finish the tournament in seventh place. The sophomore registered a bogey-free 69 (-3) in the final round to secure her ticket to the national tournament. Her appearance marks the first for the Sooners since the 2013-14 season and the first individual qualifier for Oklahoma since Ellen Mueller qualified for the championships as an individual in 2010.

The South Yarra, Australia, native was a 2017 All-Big 12 Team selection and is on pace to tally the lowest season-scoring average in program history. Soo currently has a 71.70 (-0.21) ¬¬and the record is 72.26 (+0.44)

“Jules played solid again this week,” OU head coach Veronique Drouin-Luttrell said. “I’m really proud of everything she has been able to accomplish so far this season, and I’m excited that she will have a chance to represent us at the national tournament.”

Junior Hannah Wood registered a 75 in Wednesday’s final round to finish the tournament in a share of 32nd place at 222. Classmate Valerie Tanguay double bogeyed her first hole but pocketed five birdies in the round, including one on her final hole, to finish the third round at 71. Tanguay shared 41st place at 225.

Rylee Pedigo made big strides in the final round, registering four birdies on the day en route to a 71. The junior, who finished tied for 53rd place (226; +10), sat at 1 over through 12 holes but tallied birdies on her 14th and 16th holes to finish under par.

Junior Ana Ruiz recorded a 79 on Wednesday to finish in a share of 80th place at 236.

“I’m really proud of this team,” Drouin-Luttrell said. “We had a great year and came up short at regionals. I know that we will be back stronger next year with even more depth than we’ve ever had.”

The NCAA Lubbock Regional marks the final tournament for the Sooners as a team this season. Soo will continue the 2016-17 season on May 19-21 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill., for the 2017 NCAA Championships.

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Ken MacLeod

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