Screen, Milligan, Winans lead Sooners to third in Clover Cup

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MESA, Ariz. – Led by a trio of golfers inside the top 20, No. 23 Oklahoma notched a fifth-place finish at the Clover Cup on Sunday afternoon. The Sooners’ finish at the par-72, 6,184-yard Longbow Golf Club marks the sixth top-five placement in their last seven events.

The Sooners found themselves in third early on the back nine but ran out of holes as UNLV and Clemson were able to catch Oklahoma down the stretch. For the third time this season, OU put together its best round of the tournament on the final day, carding a 1-under 287 to close the tournament out.

“We got some good takeaways from this weekend. We finished solid coming down 17 and 18 today, which is big,” head coach Veronique Drouin-Luttrell said. “We made a few mistakes in the middle of the round that were costly, but overall we had a good day. I’m proud of Hannah, Libby and Kaitlin for finishing inside the top 20. We’re excited to get back home to clean up some areas before competing again.”

Hannah Screen (-4, T7) led the Sooners for the fourth time this season, finishing inside the top 10 in each of those events. The junior, ranked 49th nationally, sunk a hole-in-one on No. 11 and then buried back-to-back birdies on 12 and 13 to move into a tie for the lead before falling out of the top spot on the 14th. Her two rounds of 69 to close the tournament were the sixth and seventh rounds in the 60s of her season as the Sooner will look to move up in the rankings after another strong outing.

All-Big 12 selection Kaitlin Milligan (+2, T17) returned to the top 20 for the first time this season after shooting 73-73-72 in Mesa. The ANWA invitee birdied her last two holes of the tournament to move back into the top 20 and fire an even-par 72. Her top-20 finish is the 18th of her career, and her 47 rounds of par or better are fourth all-time for the Crimson and Cream.

Carding a 69 (-3) on Sunday to leap up the leaderboard was Libby Winans (+2, T17), who notched the 11th top-20 finish of her college career on Sunday. More impressively, the junior has now finished inside the top 20 in five of her last six tournaments. Her round in the 60s on Sunday officially puts her into second all-time at OU in scoring versus par (1.18), trailing only Hannah Wood at 1.02.

Ellen Secor (+9, T38) battled all week for the Sooners, entering the lineup late due to a scratch. She fired rounds of 73 and 74 to open the event but carded a 78 (+6) on Sunday to tie for 38th in her second team event of the season. The senior leader for Drouin-Luttrell’s team tied teammate Libby Winans for the best score on par threes in the field, firing a 2.75 average, and her 24 total pars tied Screen for the most on the team.

Sophomore Maria Fernanda Martinez (+11, T45) closed her Clover Cup on a high note, carding an eagle on the 18th hole, the first of her collegiate career.

The Sooners will regroup in Norman before traveling to Lantana, Texas, for The Bruzzy on March 27-28, where they’ll play 54 holes in their return to action.

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Ken MacLeod

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