Top-ranked USC rolled to a 15-stroke victory over Washington and the Trojans’ Jennifer Chang sank a six-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to capture the individual title in the NCAA Cle Elum Regional at Tumble Creek Club at Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum, Wash.
USC led the top six teams in the standings into the NCAA Women’s Championship on May 17-22 at the Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Ark.
The Trojans finished at 281-285-278—844, 20-under-par, followed by Washington at 285-293-281—859, Northwestern at 284-302-278—864, Arkansas at 287-296-286—869, San Jose State at 289-293-290—872 and Central Florida at 290-298-286—874.
San Diego State fell short in 12th at 296-298-295—889, and Sacramento State was 13th at 302-302-288—892.
“Patience has been a staple of this team all season and we showed it again this week with a consistent three days of play,” USC Coach Justin Silverstein said after the Trojans collected their seventh victory of the season, including the Pacific 12 Conference title.
“I’m really proud of the girls for staying focused for 54 holes and playing at a high level on a hard course. We’ve checked off a key goal of ours, and now there’s one more to go.”
Chang, a sophomore from Cary, N.C., birdied three of the last five holes to claim her second victory of the season and third of her career at 70-67-68—205, 11-under, while Rino Sasaki of Washington shot 68-70-68—206 to tie for second with Ana Laura Collado of Central Florida, who finished at 66-72-68—206, and Kathleen Scavo of Oregon was fourth at 67-72-70—209.
“I didn’t know what to expect going into this week, but I knew that I just had to stick to my game plan each day and stay patient,” said Chang, who started her final run with birdies on the 14th and 15th holes. I think this is probably one of the best rounds I’ve had in a tournament so it’s definitely a confidence booster going into nationals.
“ … I’m so proud of the team and our performance this week.”
Brooke Riley of Northwestern totaled 71-74-65—210 to tie for fifth with Maria Fassi of Arkansas, who finished at 69-72-69—210, while Alyaa Abdulghany of Stanford wound up at 70-72-69—211 to tie for seventh with Aneka Seumanutafa of Ohio State, who came in at 70-70-71—211.
Malia Nam of USC shot 73-70-69—212 to tie for ninth with Natasha Andrea Oon of San Jose State, who finished at 70-71-71—212.
Rounding out the scoring for the Trojans were Gabriela Ruffels in a tie for 15th at 69-72-72—217 and Allison Corpuz in a tie for 55th at 72-78-75—225.
UCLA and Stanford qualified for the NCAA tournament out of the East Lansing Regional, with the Bruins finishing third at 296-285-293—874, 10-over, and the Cardinal placing fourth at 298-290-290—878 at Forest Akers West Golf Club in East Lansing, Mich.
Kent State finished first at 282-291-287—860.
Patty Tavatanakit of UCLA took home the individual title with a score of 71-66-71—208, while Albane Valenzuela of Stanford shot 76-73-72—221 to finish in a tie for 23rd that including her Cardinal teammate Aline Krauter, who wound up at 76-71-74—221.
Cal State San Marcos finished third in the West Regional with a score of 310-295-289—894, 5-over, and Academy of Art in San Francisco was fifth at 305-300-294—889 to qualify for nationals at Amarillo Country Club in Amarillo, Texas, where Dallas Baptist took the title at 303-290-293—886.
Jaime Jacob of Cal State San Marcos totaled 75-75-70—220, 7-over, to wind up in a tie for fifth that included her Cougar teammate, Breann Horn, who finished at 74-72-74—220, and Anahi Servin of Academy of Art, who game in at 75-73-72—220.
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