UA’s Fassi wins NCAA, Luellen’s Tigers reach match play, Milligan concludes season

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. University of Arkansas senior Maria Fassi fired a bogey-free 5-under-par in the final round and carded a 54-hole score of 211 (-4) to win medalist honors at the 2019 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championships, played at Blessings Golf Club (par 73, 6,473 yards).

Meanwhile, Melissa (McNamara) Luellen’s Auburn Tigers finished two shots ahead of Illinois to grab the eighth and final spot for match play and will face top-seeded Texas. Luellen is a former University of Tulsa All-American and NCAA champion who will be inducted into the Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame in November.

Melissa Luellen

Third round action was halted Monday due to darkness at 8:14 p.m. after an afternoon that featured a weather delay of more than an hour and a half. Stroke play was completed early Tuesday and the top eight teams began match play at 8 a.m. More weather delays are likely.

Fassi, the second Razorback to win NCAA medalist honors, got off to a quick start with birdies on holes 2, 6 and 8 to lead by one shot at the turn. After the weather delay, she birdied holes 12 and 16 to put secure the win. She joins Stacey Lewis, who also claimed the title in 2008.

“I’ve told coach (Shauna) Taylor many times that we were going to be walking down the fairway on 18 holding hands and that I would be the national champion,” Fassi said. “It was way better than what I have imagined. Coming back to play for a national championship was one of the main reasons that I deferred my professional status. I think I’ve had a nice last couple of months, playing Augusta, winning the SEC’s and advancing to the national championship. We’re going to match play for the first time in program history. Being with my teammates and learning from Shauna and (assistant coach) Mike (Adams) has been amazing. I made the right decision.”

Oklahoma sophomore Kaitlin Milligan concluded her season on Monday in the final round of the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships. Milligan shot a 78 in the final round on Monday to total a 54-hole score of 15-over 234 and tied for 66th place.

Kaitlin Milligan

“I’m proud of the season that Kaitlin had,” said OU head coach Veronique Drouin-Luttrell. “This week was a great experience for her and will continue to help her hone her skills. She had a great season.”

The NCAA Championship concludes a strong sophomore campaign for Milligan, who carded six top-10 finishes and won the NCAA Norman Regional. She finishes the season with a 72.43 stroke average, which ranks as the fourth lowest in program history.

As a team, the Sooners produced their second best season stroke average in OU history with a 290.53.

“We had a great season, especially as such a young team,” said Drouin-Luttrell. “We continue to post some of the best scoring records and I can’t wait to see what this group can do next season. I’m already looking forward to having so many of our golfers back.”

GOLF Channel coverage continues on Tuesday with live quarterfinals action from noon-2:30 (ET) p.m. Coverage returns to the air for semifinal action from 5-9 p.m. (ET)

GOLF Channel NCAA Women’s Golf Championships Airtimes

Tuesday, May 21              Quarterfinals, Team Match Play                Noon-2:30 p.m. ET (Live)

Tuesday, May 21              Semifinals, Team Match Play                      5-9 p.m. ET (Live)

Wednesday, May 22       Team National Championship                     4-8 p.m. ET (Live)


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Ken MacLeod

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