Sooners take second in Jim West Challenge, Soo nearly equals record

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THE WOODLANDS, Texas – The 20th-ranked Oklahoma women’s golf team took second place in the Jim West Challenge on Tuesday to open the 2017-18 season. The Sooners shot their second-lowest 54-hole score in program history, carding an 11-under 841 at the par-71, 6,010-yard Fazio Course at The Club at Carlton Woods in The Woodlands, Texas. Tulsa opened its fall season with a 12th-place finish.

Junior Julienne Soo shot a 54-hole score of 204 (-9), the second-lowest individual tournament score in program history, to finish in a tie for third place. The school record (203) was set by Soo during last season’s 2017 Clover Cup.

Soo helped seal the Sooners’ second-place showing with OU’s first eagle of the year on the 17th hole. The junior landed within eight feet of the pin from 215 yards out on the par-5, 494-yard hole before sinking her lone putt. Soo’s eagle aided OU in remaining in front of third-place Texas Tech as the Sooners finished the tournament one stroke ahead of the Red Raiders (842). No. 5 Duke took home the tournament crown by shooting an 819 (-33).

“This week we just went out there, had fun, played our own game and it paid off,” said Soo. “I’m really proud of all of my teammates. This year is going to be really exciting because our team is capable of doing incredible things.”

The Sooners shot a combined score of 556 in 36 holes of continuous play on Monday – the best score through 36 holes in OU history. Oklahoma fired a team score of 285 (+1) on Tuesday to maintain its place in the standings and claim its best showing in a season opener since taking second at the 2013 Dale McNamara Fall Preview.

“We had a really good tournament as a team,” said OU head coach Veronique Drouin-Luttrell. “I’m really proud of everyone for putting in so much time and effort into their games and seeing it pay off. We will look to build off this momentum heading into our home event at the Schooner Fall Classic.”

In her first tournament since returning from a season-ending shoulder injury last fall, redshirt freshman Sydney Youngblood tied for ninth place at 209 (-4). Youngblood secured her best finish in four tournaments with the Sooners and cracked the top 10 for the first time in her collegiate career.

Senior Ana Ruiz secured her eighth career top-20 finish by shooting a 212 (-1) to tie for 18th place.

Senior Valerie Tanguay finished the tournament with a 216 (+3, tied for 26th) and fellow senior Rylee Pedigo scored a 220 (+7, tied for 37th place). Freshman Kaitlin Milligan, competing as an individual, shot a 223 (+10) to tie for 47th.

Oklahoma is back in action when it hosts its only home tournament of the season. The Sooners welcome 15 schools to Norman for the Schooner Fall Classic on Sept. 23-25 at Belmar Golf Club. Held in partnership with The Toby Keith Foundation, the Schooner Fall Classic continues to grow as one of the top fall tournaments in college golf. Of the 16 participating teams, nine are ranked in Golfweek’s Preseason Top 30 rankings and six qualified for the 2017 NCAA Championships.

For Tulsa, Johanna Samuelsson finished in 25th place. Samuelsson finished the tournament with a final round 72 for a 2-over par 215 total. Tulsa shot a final round of 295 for its 889 total.

Junior Anneke Strobach finished in 47th place with a total score of 223 after turning in a round of 75 on Tuesday. Senior Nicole Marquardt placed 52nd overall with a 224 total. Freshman Randi Romack, who had a solid first collegiate round of golf with an even-par score of 71 on Monday, completed the tournament in 62nd place at 231. Tulsa’s No. 1 returning player, Greta Bruner, transferred unexpectedly to Texas Christian during the off season, another setback in Tulsa’s effort to rebuild its women’s golf program.

Junior Olivia Jackson finished the three rounds in 65th place with a 233 score.

Tulsa will be back in action next week at the Marilynn Smith/Sunflower Invitational in Manhattan, Kansas, Sunday-Tuesday, Sept. 17-19.

Team Results

  1. Duke                          269-273-277=819
  2. Oklahoma                   279-277-285=841
  3. Texas Tech                 279-280-283=842
  4. Kent State                   275-293-276=844
  5. Texas A&M                280-291-280=851
  6. Missouri                     282-291-281=854
  7. TCU                          288-290-287=865
  8. UTSA                        292-287-287=866
  9. Augusta                      300-287-288=875
  10. UNCG                        287-298-291=876
  11. Southern Miss             292-302-286=880
  12. Tulsa                         296-298-295=889
  13. Texas State                 304-299-299=902


Tulsa Individuals

25       Johanna Samuelsson     73-70-72=215

T47.    Anneke Strobach          77-71-75=223

T52     Nicole Marquardt          77-75-72=224

  1. Randi Romack             71-82-78=231

T65.    Olivia Jackson             75-82-76=233


Top-5 Individuals

  1. Leona Maguire, Duke                67-63-70=200 (-13)
  2. Maddie Szeryk, Texas A&M      68-67-68=203 (-10)

T3.  Julienne Soo, Oklahoma            68-68-68=204 (-9)

T3.  Jess Yuen, Missouri                  70-65-69=204 (-9)

T3.  Ana Belac, Duke                      67-69-68=205 (-9)


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Ken MacLeod

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